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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558


BARAZARTE, Dionelys et al. Use of tongue flap as alternative for the closure of palatinal fistulas in patients with sequela of palatoplasty. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.2, pp.76-82.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 2173-9161.


A retrospective study was conducted in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Dr. Atilio Perdomo; Ángel Larralde Hospital, Carabobo- Venezuela, which describes the procedure and protocol of the postoperative period of patients operated on multiple occasions for the closure of palatal fistulas.

Material and methods:

A total of 20 patients treated for palatal fistulas were included in this study, in the period between 2014-2018. Patients with presence of sequelae of palatal fistulas, large fistulas with inadequate local scars, presence of oronasal communication and hypernasal resonance were considered. Patients were evaluated during the first 24 hours, 21 days and 6 months.


A total of 20 patients (12 men and 8 women) with palatal fistulas were treated with tongue flap, aged between 25 and 40 years. In the postoperative period, patients reported 58 % of cases, mild pain. The most frequent clinical signs during the postoperative period were presented in 60 % of the patients, showing headache, passive bleeding, severe pain. No significant changes in lingual motility. Acoustic analysis of the 6-month late postoperative control voice, presented favorable changes in the intonation line, showing its continuity. All remaining cases showed satisfactory cure, and donor site morbidity was minimal.


The tongue flaps are an excellent alternative for closing large or recurrent palatal fistulas, due to their versatility and excellent vascularity of the area. However, the design and the delicate manipulation of the flap are also decisive.

Keywords : Palatal fistulas; flap; tongue flap; oronasal communication.

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