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Concept: Hard palate

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The aim of this study was to evaluate swallowing, speech and quality of life in patients undergoing surgery for malignant tumors involving soft palate. We performed a cross sectional study of 23 patients (aged 32-80 years), submitted to soft palate resection, free of disease for at least 1 year. Primary closure of the surgical defect was performed in 5 patients (21.7 %), adaptation of a palatal obturator prosthesis in 2 (8.7 %), myocutaneous flap in 5 (21.7 %), local flap in 2 (8.7 %) and microsurgical free flap in 9 (39.1 %). All patients were submitted to fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation and completed functional and quality of life questionnaires. Functional evaluation of swallowing showed higher prevalence of pooling of food in the nasopharynx in patients submitted to regional flap reconstruction or primary closure (53.9 %). Swallowing difficulties were predominantly related to solid foods (54.5 %) and were associated with more extensive palatal resections. Most individuals submitted to reconstruction with microsurgical flaps had satisfactory velopharyngeal mobility (87 %). The presence of nasal air escape or velopharyngeal gap was minimal in most of the sample. Hypernasality contributed minimally to imprecisions in speech articulation or intelligibility. Vocal alteration did not impact patients' quality of life. Pharyngeal phase of swallowing was satisfactory in most patients. However, nasal reflux and penetration were present in a few patients. Most patients had minimal phono-articulatory alterations as a global outcome. Scores of swallowing and speech parameters regarding the questionnaires used were high, demonstrating minor impact on quality of life.

Concepts: Nasalization, Hard palate, Palate, Oncology, Palatal obturator, Swallowing, Soft palate, Cancer

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The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with the masticatory dysfunction after maxillectomy using a colour-changing chewing gum. Thirty-nine patients who underwent maxillectomy between January 2002 and May 2010 in the Department of Kobe University Hospital were recruited for this study. There were 20 male and 19 female subjects, with a median age of 73·3 years (range of 44-90) at the time of surgery. The intra-oral conditions after maxillectomy were classified by HS classification, and the masticatory function was evaluated by a colour-changing chewing gum and the results of a modified Sato’s questionnaire. The scores of the colour-changing gum were closely correlated with the scores of the modified Sato’s questionnaire (r = 0·661, P < 0·01). A logistic regression analysis with the outcome variable of the gum test <4 demonstrated that significant predictors for the masticatory dysfunction were the number of anchor teeth ≤2 and a soft palate defect. A colour-changing gum was found to be useful for evaluating the post-operative masticatory function, and it was important to conserve the anchor teeth and the soft palate to avoid masticatory dysfunction.

Concepts: Sugar substitute, Francis Galton, Hard palate, Hospital, Palate, Soft palate, Regression analysis, Logistic regression

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility, complications, and clinical outcome of consecutive free trapezius flap transfers in 20 dogs and a wallaby. STUDY DESIGN: Case series. ANIMALS: Dogs (n = 20) and 1 wallaby METHODS: Medical records of 20 dogs and 1 wallaby that had free trapezius flap transfers were evaluated retrospectively for indications, date of transfer, site of flap relocation, flap composition (myocutaneous, muscular, myoosseus), recipient artery and veins, flap ischemia times, surgery time, antithrombotic strategies used, intra- and postoperative complications related to the flap, hospitalization, in hospital duration after flap transfer, and outcome. RESULTS: Free flap transfers (16 muscle, 4 myocutaneous, 1 myoosseus) were used to treat traumatic soft tissue loss (13), neoplasm excision (2), osteomyelitis (4), and soft palate reconstruction (2); all flaps survived. Anti-thrombotic therapy was used in all cases although strategies varied. Postoperative complications were infrequent, generally of low severity, and primarily included donor site seroma formation and infection. CONCLUSIONS: Free trapezius flap was successfully used in 21 consecutive cases for a wide variety of reconstructive techniques with good, functional long-term outcome.

Concepts: Hard palate, Surgery, Tissues, Palate, Blood, Plastic surgery, Soft palate, Flap

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The aim of this prospective study was to characterise patient characteristics and the histories of cats with acquired nasopharyngeal stenosis (ANS), and to describe the use of a removable silicone stent for treatment. ANS was diagnosed in 15 cats with clinical signs present for a median of 4 months. Clinical signs included stertor and inspiratory difficulty, nasal discharge, sneezing, dysphagia, regurgitation, vomiting and anorexia. Radiographs revealed a dorsal deviation or deformation of the caudal part of the soft palate in 10 of the cats, a soft tissue density across the cranial nasopharynx in four and no abnormality in one. The stenosis was initially dilated with a Kelly forceps in 10 of the cats and by balloon dilatation in five. A segment of a 24 Fr silicone thoracic catheter was used for the stent in five cats; in the other 10 cats a segment of a 28 Fr catheter was used. The stent was removed after 3 weeks in 12 cats and after 4 weeks in the other three. Endoscopy revealed an adequate nasopharyngeal diameter in all of the cats. At both 3 and 10 months after surgery the response was considered to be satisfactory, with complete resolution of clinical signs in 14 cats and improvement in the remaining cat. The treatment of ANS by stenosis dilatation followed by temporary stenting with a silicone stent is a rapid, safe, economical and effective procedure.

Concepts: Dilation, Stent, Nasopharynx, Soft tissue, Hard palate, Palate, Levator veli palatini, Soft palate

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A 59-year-old woman with a history of diabetes, hypertension, and multiple previous strokes presented for evaluation. She had had acute onset of imbalance and difficulty speaking 2 years earlier. Examination revealed a constant, jerky movement of the soft palate, shown in a video.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Myoclonus, Mouth, Palatalization, Hard palate, Stroke, Palate, Soft palate

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Pierre Robin sequence (PRS) has worse speech outcomes than isolated cleft palate. We aimed to search for possible associations of phonological outcomes with PRS status (isolated vs syndromic), clinical severity, soft palate muscles deficiency, or surgical procedure.

Concepts: Medicine, Hard palate, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Palate, Pierre Robin syndrome, Palatine uvula, Soft palate

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Sculpted physical models and castings of the anatomy of cleft lip and palate are used for parent, patient, and trainee education of cleft lip and palate conditions. In this study, we designed a suite of digital 3-dimensional (3D) models of cleft lip and palate anatomy with additive manufacturing techniques for patient education.

Concepts: Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Hard palate, Facial features, Cleft Lip and Palate Association, Palate, Training, Cleft lip and palate, Physician

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In wide palatal defects, closure of the nasal layer can prove a considerable challenge. Mobilizing nasal flaps posteriorly usually facilitates soft palate closure. However, the defect is often too wide within the hard palate; hence, bilateral vomerine flaps are frequently required. Despite this, there is often a small defect in the nasal layer at the posterior septum (typically equating to the hard-soft palate junction), which has to be left to heal by secondary intention with the resulting increased risk of fistula formation and the potential deleterious long-term effect on speech due to cicatricial migration of the reconstructed levator sling anteriorly. We describe our experience in the use of the sphenoid flap to obtain tension-free primary closure of the nasal layer.

Concepts: Nasalization, Mouth, Palatine uvula, Hard palate, Palate, Soft palate

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OBJECTIVE To determine from MRI measurements whether soft palate length (SPL) and thickness are correlated in dogs, evaluate the association between the olfactory bulb angle (OBA) and degree of brachycephalia, and determine the correlation between soft palate-epiglottis overlap and OBA in dogs. ANIMALS 50 brachycephalic and 50 nonbrachycephalic client-owned dogs without abnormalities of the head. PROCEDURES Medical records and archived midsagittal T2-weighted MRI images of brachycephalic and nonbrachycephalic dogs' heads were reviewed. Group assignment was based on breed. Data collected included weight, SPL and thickness, OBA, and the distance between the caudal extremity of the soft palate and the basihyoid. Soft palate length and thickness were adjusted on the basis of body weight. RESULTS Brachycephalic dogs had significantly thicker soft palates and lower OBAs, compared with findings for nonbrachycephalic dogs. There was a significant negative correlation (r2 = 0.45) between OBA and soft palate thickness. The correlation between SPL and OBA was less profound (r2 = 0.09). The distance between the caudal extremity of the soft palate and the basihyoid was shorter in brachycephalic dogs than in nonbrachycephalic dogs. The percentage of epiglottis-soft palate overlap significantly decreased with increasing OBA (r2 = 0.31). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that MRI images can be consistently used to assess anatomic landmarks for measurement of SPL and thickness, OBA, and soft palate-to-epiglottis distance in brachycephalic and nonbrachycephalic dogs. The percentage of epiglottis-soft palate overlap was significantly greater in brachycephalic dogs and was correlated to the degree of brachycephalia.

Concepts: Radiology, Brain, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Hard palate, Palate, Soft palate, Magnetic resonance imaging

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Describe a novel technique for superior-based pharyngeal flaps allowing restoration of bulk to the soft palate and intraoperative fine-tuning of lateral port size, while avoiding midline palate-splitting. Validated speech assessment tools are employed for quantitative analysis.

Concepts: Logic, Speech, Mouth, Thought, Hard palate, Palate, Soft palate