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Velopharyngeal Incompetence

Velopharyngeal Incompetence Causes

It is caused by the impairment of the velopharyngeal mechanism of the person whereby the velopharyngeal valve does not fully close. It can either be congenital or acquired later in life. Cleft palate, one of the most causes of this condition, for example is an anatomical abnormality that occurs in the utero and id present at birth.

Velopharyngeal Incompetence Definition

Velopharyngeal incompetence is a disease which is used to describe the functionality of the velopharyngeal valve. Specifically it is the malfunctioning of the velopharyngel mechanism of a person which is responsible for directing the transmission of sound energy and air pressure in both the oral cavity and the nasal cavity.

Velopharyngeal Incompetence Diagnosis

The diagnosis can be suggested by the child's speech. More objective diagnosis can be obtained by direct vision of the soft palate while the child is pronouncing certain keywords by the fogging of the hand mirror placed under the nose during speech and from cinefluorograhic x-ray films (Dudas, Jr., Deleyiannis, FW, Ford MD, (2006) Diagnosis and Treatment of Velopharyngeal Insufficiency: Clinical Utility of Speech Evaluation and Videofluoroscopy, 511-517).

Velopharyngeal Incompetence Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms may range from mild problems in timing of closure during speech. It also manifested by the inability of the person to achieve closure of the palate regardless of speaking rate and phonetic context (Kent, Raymond (1992). Intelligibility in Speech Disorders, John Benjamin Publishing Co., p. 276).

Velopharyngeal Incompetence Treatment

Pharyngeal Flap Surgery is the most common method to treat velopharyngeal insufficiency whereby the tissue from the back of the mouth is used to close the part of the gap. Placing posterior nasopharyngeal wall implant through the use of cartilage or collagen or through soft palate lengthening procedure or VY palatoplasty.

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