Purpose To assess the incidence of perioperative complications and the utility of intensive care monitoring in patients undergoing posterior pharyngeal flap surgery for velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). Materials and Methods This study was a retrospective evaluation of patients who underwent posterior pharyngeal flap surgery for treatment of VPD and an assessment of the incidence of perioperative complications. Descriptive statistics were computed. Results Over an 18-year period, 145 patients underwent pharyngeal flap surgery for VPD; 133 (91.7%) had complete data and were included as subjects. Mean patient age was 9.4 ± 7.4 years; 50.4% were female. One hundred twenty-six patients (94.7%) had a history of cleft palate. Thirty-four patients (25.5%) had asthma or obstructive sleep apnea. Eighty-three patients (62.4%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for postoperative monitoring. The average length of hospital stay was 1.9 ± 0.9 days (range, 1 to 5 days). There were no incidents of serious postoperative complications, including death, bleeding, flap dehiscence or loss, or airway compromise requiring reintubation. Two patients (1.5%) had perioperative complications related to respiratory issues, one of whom required readmission to the ICU (0.8%). There were no differences in complications between those who were routinely admitted to the ICU and those who went directly to the floor (P = 1.00). There was no association between respiratory comorbidities and complications (P =.06). Conclusion The perioperative complication rate for posterior pharyngeal flap surgery is low (<2%). Routine ICU admission for monitoring is not necessary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery