structural aetiology

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Velopharyngeal insufficiency results from any structural deficiency of the velum or pharyngeal wall at the level of the nasopharynx. There is either a deficiency of tissue or a structure mechanically interferes with closure. Causes include:

  • unrepaired palatal clefts:
    • overt
    • submucous
    • occult submucous
  • mechanical interference:
    • excessive tonsils
    • posterior pilar webbing
  • post-surgical insufficiency:
    • after palatal closure, pharyngoplasty, adenoidectomy
    • post-operative fistula
  • ablative palatal lesions:
    • cancer
    • trauma

Last reviewed 01/2018