Tongue suture placement after cleft palate repair.

David W. Dorfman, Frank S. Ciminello, Granger Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Postoperative airway obstruction is a complication of cleft palate repair. A technique to control the airway is to place a suture through the tongue at the conclusion of the palate repair, but it is not uniformly adopted by surgeons. Although it has been frequently performed, the use and effectiveness of the tongue suture have not been studied. Our purpose was to determine the usefulness of tongue suture placement. We surveyed health care providers as to their frequency of use and the value of the tongue suture in postoperative airway management of the cleft palate patient. The survey was sent via e-mail to 2080 members of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, with a total of 396 responders. Surgeons were nearly equally split on placing a tongue suture, with 41.1% responders reporting that they use a tongue suture all of the time and 41.1% of responders reporting that they never used a tongue suture. Some criterion used for placement was the complexity of the case, syndromic patients, and overseas cleft missions. Many cleft palate repairs are done annually without using tongue sutures, but it does not seem to affect the outcomes among surgeons, thus confounding the question of effectiveness. At this time, tongue suture placement after cleft palate repair is variable and subjective. Further studies need to be performed to assess outcomes after placing a tongue suture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1603
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of craniofacial surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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