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Septopalatal protraction for correction of nasal septal deformity in cleft palate infants

Corey C Moore, Ian MacDonald, Ralph Latham, Michael G Brandt
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2005, 133 (6): 949-53

OBJECTIVE: It is proposed to test the practicality of septopalatal protraction in the unilateral cleft palate infant for purposes of straightening the nasal septum and thus relieving nasal airflow obstruction and its detrimental sequelae.

METHODS: Alternate infants affected with complete unilateral palatal clefts had septopalatal protraction for a period of 6 to 8 weeks (protraction group; n = 4). Septal deviation was measured by a standardized technique that used computed tomography scans. The remaining infants had no protraction and served as controls (nonprotraction group; n = 5). Septal deviation was measured in the nonprotraction group from palatoseptal dental molds.

RESULTS: A total of 9 patients were studied. All patients in the nonprotraction group had worsening of nasal septal deviation over a period of 8 weeks compared with the protraction group, which had complete nasal septal straightening. Differences in septal angle deviation between the protraction group and nonprotraction group at the end of the study were statistically significant (P < or = 0.01) as measured by the paired Student t test.

CONCLUSIONS: Septopalatal protraction in the newborn appears to provide a means for correcting nasal septal deviation in complete unilateral cleft palate infants. Septopalatal protraction in the newborn is relatively easy and safe.

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