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Surgical Variation Between Consultant Surgeons Performing a Sommerlad Radical Intravelar Veloplasty

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Sainsbury, Peter Hodgkinson


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© 2021, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.Background: Although cleft surgeons in the United Kingdom follow a similar training pathway, and cleft centers adhere to similar protocols regarding timing of palate surgery and surgical technique, speech outcomes still vary significantly between centers. Objective: To explore if differences in technique exist between individual surgeons, performing a Sommerlad radical intravelar veloplasty (IVVP). Design: An exploratory, qualitative approach was adopted to understand the views of UK cleft surgeons performing a Sommerlad radical IVVP for primary cleft palate repair and to discuss what was important in the adoption, adaptation, and evolution of this technique within their own practice. Method: A semistructured interview schedule was designed. Interviews were conducted in person or via videoconferencing, with interested surgeons. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and checked for accuracy. Analysis involved inductive thematic analysis. Results: Fourteen cleft consultants from the United Kingdom participated (3 females and 11 males). Seven of the consultants were trained in plastic surgery and 4 in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Eight themes were identified from the thematic analysis. One theme—Surgical Variation—is discussed. Conclusions: The findings provide insight into areas of variation seen within one surgical technique of cleft palate repair. These variations may have arisen to accommodate heterogeneity in the patient population or may have evolved in relation to different experiences of training or influences of colleagues. Further work is needed to explore the reasons for these differences in technique and to identify if any of these subtle differences contributed to variability in outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Butterworth S, Hodgkinson EL, Sainsbury DCG, Hodgkinson PD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal

Year: 2021

Volume: 58

Issue: 12

Pages: 1490-1499

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 01/02/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1055-6656

ISSN (electronic): 1545-1569

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/1055665621989139

PubMed id: 33517708


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