Partial Adenoidectomy in Patients With Palatal Abnormalities

Ingrid Salna, Joshua Jervis-Bardy, David Wabnitz, Guy Rees, Alkis Psaltis, Adam Johnson
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2019, 30 (5): e454-e460

BACKGROUND: Velopharyngeal insufficiency is a feared complication of adenoidectomies in patients with palatal abnormalities. Thus, the benefits of adenoidectomy in this population are less understood. The techniques of partial adenoidectomy aim to preserve velopharyngeal closure while sufficiently debulking the nasal airway to ameliorate obstruction and snoring.

METHODOLOGY: Systematic review of online databases using a combination of search terms including "cleft palate," "submucosal cleft palate," "short palate," "adenoidectomy," "partial adenoidectomy," "subtotal adenoidectomy," and "powered adenoidectomy." Two independent reviewers assessed the eligibility of each study based on predefined inclusion criteria.

RESULTS: From 323 studies identified, 8 were included. All were retrospective case series, except 1 prospective study. Study period ranged from 1.1 to 14 years (median 7.5 years). There were 172 patients with a cleft palate (n = 80), submucous cleft palate (n = 67) or another defined palatal abnormality [short soft palate (n = 14), bifid uvula (n = 4), questionable palatal mobility (n = 4) or incomplete CP (n = 3)] identified. Mean age was 5.5 years and just over half were male (58%). Nearly all patients showed improvement in nasal airway obstruction and snoring. The pooled risk for velopharyngeal insufficiency across all studies was 2 out of 122, which approximates to 1.6% of patients. There were very few complications.

CONCLUSION: This is the first systematic review of partial adenoidectomy in patients with palatal abnormalities. Sub-total adenoidectomy in patients with submucosal cleft palate or repaired cleft palate appears to be a safe and efficacious procedure. There is; however, a need for prospective data collection using a standardized technique in large patient series required to properly assess outcomes.

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