Oronasal Fistula Risk After Palate Repair

Sarah Hatch Pollard, Jonathan R Skirko, Dallin Dance, Hans Reinemer, Duane Yamashiro, Natalee F Lyon, Dave S Collingridge
Cleft Palate-craniofacial Journal 2020 June 23, : 1055665620931707

OBJECTIVE: To assess risk factors for oronasal fistula, including 2-stage palate repair.

DESIGN: Retrospective analysis.

SETTING: Tertiary children's hospital.

PATIENTS: Patients with non-submucosal cleft palate whose entire cleft repair was completed at the study hospital between 2005 and 2013 with postsurgical follow-up.

INTERVENTIONS: Hierarchical binary logistic regression assessed predictive value of variables for fistula. Variables tested for inclusion were 2 stage repair, Veau classification, sex, age at surgery 1, age at surgery 2, surgeon volume, surgeon, insurance status, socioeconomic status, and syndrome. Variables were added to the model in order of significance and retained if significant at a .05 level.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Postoperative fistula.

RESULTS: Of 584 palate repairs, 505 (87%) had follow-up, with an overall fistula rate of 10.1% (n = 51). Among single-stage repairs (n = 211), the fistula rate was 6.7%; it was 12.6% in 2-stage repairs (n = 294, P = .03). In the final model utilizing both single-stage and 2-stage patient data, significant predictors of fistula were 2-stage repair (odds ratio [OR]: 2.5, P = .012), surgeon volume, and surgeon. When examining only single-stage patients, higher surgeon volume was protective against fistula. In the model examining 2-stage patients, surgeon and age at hard palate repair were significant; older age at hard palate closure was protective for fistula, with an OR of 0.82 ( P = .046) for each additional 6 months in age at repair.

CONCLUSIONS: Two-stage surgery, surgeon, and surgeon volume were significant predictors of fistula occurrence in all children, and older age at hard palate repair was protective in those with 2-stage repair.

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