J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg.  2010 Jan;37(1):31-36.

Clinical Experience of Buccal Fat Pad Pedicled Flap for Denuded Area in Palatoplasty

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea. growhand@hanmail.net


PURPOSE: The primary goal of palatoplasty is to enable normal speech with harmonious growth of face. Some children who had palatoplasty display typical findings of transverse maxillary deficiency requiring orthodontic widening of the maxilla. Levi (2009) described a cleft palate repair coupled with pedicled buccal fat pad flaps to cover bone exposed areas of the hard palate. Hence we report clinical experiences of cleft palate repair using pedicled buccal fat pad flap.
Four Veau class II and a Veau class I cleft palate patients underwent palatoplasty with buccal fat pad flap by single surgeon from April 2009 to August 2009. Two patients received 2-flap palatoplasty and three patients 1-flap palatoplasty, respectively. After the cleft palate repair, sharp mosquito scissors was placed in the superior buccal sulcus just lateral to the maxillary tuberosity and inserted directly through the mucosa resulting in buccal fat pad extrusion. The elevated flap was moved to cover mucoperiosteal defect in hard palatal area.
Five patients underwent primary palatoplasty using buccal fat pad flap. Flap harvest and inset took on average 9 minutes per flap. Mucosal epithelization took 18 days on average. No patients had complications related to the buccal fat pad flap.
Buccal fat pad pedicled flap has significant potential to function as an added vascularized tissue layer in cleft palate repair and we can expect better growth of maxilla with this method although longer duration of follow-up was unavailable.


Buccal fat pad; Palatoplasty

MeSH Terms

Adipose Tissue
Cleft Palate
Follow-Up Studies
Mucous Membrane
Palate, Hard
Surgical Flaps
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