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Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Cantarella G. 1, Mazzola R. F. 2, Benincasa A. 1
1 Clinic ORL I IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy;
2 School of Specialization in Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Milan, Italy
The authors describe a case of velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI), as a consequence to the neurosurgical treatment for a complex malformation of the cranio-spinal junction. A 61-year-old woman underwent a transoral-transvelar surgical approach for odontoid resection. One month later surgical fixation of the posterior spine with autologous iliac bone graft was performed. Following these operations the patient presented a marked alteration of speech intellegibility due to hypernasal voice resonance and through incapability to articulate the oral phonemes correctly. She also complained of nasal regurgitation of fluids and solids while swallowing. She underwent a clinical phoniatric assessment of voice and speech. Videonasopharyngoscopy allowed us to inspect the velopharyngeal sphincter and to show clearly the type and morphology of its closure defect. Correction of VPI was achieved by means of a velopharyngoplasty (pharyngeal flap), in spite of technical difficulties due to local scarring and to a problematic exposure of the surgical field.