An Intraoperative Salvage After Transection of the Greater Palatine Artery During Cleft Palate Repair: A Case for Buccal Fat and Buccal Myomucosal Flaps

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Recently, several adjunctive procedures have gained traction to aid cleft surgeons in repairing especially challenging palatal clefts. Buccal fat flaps and buccal myomucosal flaps have demonstrated particular utility in reinforcing thin palatal flaps or tissue deficits. Although their use has not been widely accepted, they may be particularly helpful in the setting of significant scarring or vascular compromise. Here the authors describe the case of an intraoperative salvage using bilateral buccal fat flaps and a right buccal myomucosal flap after transection of the right Greater Palatine artery (GPA) during palatoplasty on a 14-month old female with Pierre Robin Sequence and a wide Veau II cleft palate. For this operative salvage, bilateral buccal fat flaps were used to reinforce the hard-soft palate junction and a 4 cm × 2 cm flap of the right-sided buccal mucosa and buccinator muscle was inset along the majority of the right-sided soft and posterior hard palate. At 2 years follow-up, the patient had no significant complications and was doing well with healthy-appearing palatal tissue and age-appropriate speech.