On the variability of velopharyngeal valve anatomy and function: A combined peroral and nasendoscopic study

Yehuda Finkelstein, Yoav P. Talmi, Ariela Nachmani, Daniel J. Hauben, Yuval Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The oropharynx stripped of the tonsils and the excessive mucosal folds after the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty operation allows a closed observation of the outline of the pharyngeal muscles. Forty-two consecutive patients undergoing uvulopalatopharyngoplasty were subjected to peroral exam ination of the oropharynx com bined with nasendoscopic exam ination of the velopharyngeal valve. At rest, the oropharynx of the patients with coronal closure patterns was found to be flat relative to the oropharynx of the patients with the other closure patterns. During closure of the velopharyngeal valve, an an teroposterior movem ent of the velum, forming the nasendoscopic coronal closure pattern, was observed in patients with a flat oropharynx. On the other hand, a medial movem ent of the pharyngeal walls was found, form ing the circular or sagittal closure pattern seen in patients with a deep oropharynx. Our conclusion is therefore that a different m uscular orientation is responsible for both the different pharyngeal configuration at rest and the different contribution of the lateral and posterior pharyngeal walls to velopharyngeal valve closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-639
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume89
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1992

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