Prophylactic Use of Buccal Fat Flaps to Improve Oral Mucosal Healing following Furlow Palatoplasty

Cecil S. Qiu, Megan E. Fracol, Hanah Bae, Arun K. Gosain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Furlow palatoplasty is increasingly used both for primary palatoplasty and for secondary correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency. Although Furlow palatoplasty offers the advantage of lengthening the palate, the most tenuous component of the oral mucosal repair is anterior transposition of the oral mucosal Z-plasty flap, with superficial separation of the oral mucosa observed in up to 53 percent of cases of secondary Furlow palatoplasty. To mitigate this problem, the authors prophylactically placed pedicled buccal fat pad flaps to provide an additional vascular layer to promote healing of the overlying oral mucosal Z-plasty flap. The authors report their experience comprising seven patients who underwent Furlow palatoplasty with buccal fat flap augmentation. Four of these patients had secondary Furlow palatoplasty procedures; one of them experienced oral mucosal separation that healed uneventfully. No patients developed an oronasal fistula. The authors' experience suggests that buccal fat flaps may minimize vascular compromise and dehiscence of the oral mucosal Z-plasty following Furlow palatoplasty. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Therapeutic, IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1183
Number of pages5
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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