Introduction: Assessing treatment outcome is an integral part of audit process in surgical practise. This goes along way in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of adopted protocols and help to improve on them.
Objective: To appraise the outcome of cleft palate repairs carried out in the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) Ile-Ife over a five year period.
Methods: Cases of cleft palate managed at the OAUTHC over a five year period (July 2005–June 2010) were reviewed prospectively. Information on patients’ demographics, type and severity of defects, surgical techniques employed, post operative care protocol and complication(s) of surgery were obtained and analysed.
Results: Forty two patients (19 males and 23 females) aged 1–38 years were reviewed. Their mean age (SD) was 6.45 (7.95) years. Sixty percent had clefts of hard and soft palate while others were isolated cleft of the soft palate. Defects measured 4–22 mm widest dimension mean (SD) was 14.08 (4.2) mm. Majority (88%) had primary palatoplasties while the rest were secondary. The von-Langenbeck technique was carried out in all cases except two. We observed two distinct patterns of post operative care. Three cases of dehiscence and five fistulae at the junction of hard and soft palate were found (19.1% complication rate). Only one patient complied with post operative speech assessment for 3 months.
Conclusion: Although speech outcome could not be determined in this series basically due to loss to follow up, our surgical complication rate is comparable with reported figures. Size of defects and poor compliance with post surgical care are implicated.
Conflict of interest: None declared.