Management of velopharyngeal dysfunction

Jordan N. Halsey, Richard E. Kirschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) is seen most commonly as a sequela of cleft palate repair, but it can also be seen in the presence of an unrepaired submucosal cleft palate and in non-cleft conditions that lead to palatopharyngeal disproportion or impaired velopharyngeal (VP) motor function. The surgical technique to best address the patient's VPD should be selected based upon a thorough history, physical examination, and imaging, as best outcomes require careful individualization of surgical management based upon each patient's unique VP anatomy and function. Speech production is a complex process requiring central coordination of not only VP closure, but also the tongue and oral musculature to produce and refine intelligible sounds. VPD can be subdivided into velopharyngeal insufficiency, VP incompetence, and VP mislearning. Prior to surgical intervention for the management of VPD, a thorough history and physical examination should be performed, including a complete perceptual speech evaluation by speech pathologist trained in the assessment of VPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCleft and Craniofacial Orthodontics
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781119778387
ISBN (Print)9781119778363
StatePublished - Mar 10 2023


  • Impaired velopharyngeal
  • Speech production
  • Surgical management
  • VP incompetence
  • VP mislearning
  • Velopharyngeal dysfunction
  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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