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Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2019 Jan-Jun;10(1):43-46. doi: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_42_18.

A statistical analysis of incidence, etiology, and management of palatal fistula.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.



The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review the incidence, profile, and the management of palatal fistula occurring in patients operated for cleft palate in our institute.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective analysis was performed on all cleft palatal fistula patients who presented during the period from August 2007 to October 2017, to classify their site, age of presentation, surgery performed, and outcome. A record of the type of cleft palate and previous palatoplasty was also obtained. The outcome in terms of incidence and fistula formation depending on Veau's classification was analyzed.


Twenty-two patients reported with palatal fistula during this period. The incidence of fistula formation of our institute was 9.6%. Incisive foramen (13/22) was the most common site of fistula formation. Among various techniques used, local and buccal flaps were found to be useful in a maximum number of cases (14/22). The rate of fistula recurrence was 18.2% (4/22). On retrospective analysis of our institutional data, it was found that the incidence of cleft palate fistula was significantly higher in clefts with Veau Types III and IV (13/18) as compared to Veau Types I and II (5/18).


This study shows that the fistula rate of our institution was 9.6%. Complete clefts (unilateral or bilateral) involving both primary and secondary palates predispose more to fistula formation.


Cleft palate statistics; flaps for palatal fistula; palatal fistula incidence; palatal fistula repair; palatoplasty

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