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Musculus uvulae and velopharyngeal status

  • G. T. A. Ijaduola (a1) and O. O. Williams (a1)


A study of velopharyngeal status after partial excision of musculus uvulae, as in total uvulectomy, has been carried out in 15 adults with normally formed soft palates. Fifteen volunteers matched for age and sex with normal palates, who had not had total uvulectomy, were used as controls. Four assessment techniques were used: (a) Air escape, with modified tongue anchor technique; (b) Production of speech sounds; (c) Transnasal nasopharyngoscopy; and (d) Radiological screening. Even though Azzam and Kuehn (1977) have stressed the importance of the musculus uvulae in velopharyngeal closure, all assessments showed that partial excision of the musculus uvulae, as in total uvulectomy, has no statistically significant effect on the velopharyngeal status in subjects with a normally formed soft palate.


Corresponding author

C. T. A. Ijaduola, F.R.C.S., Dept. of Surgery (ENT), Lagos University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 12003 Surulere, Lagos-Nigeria.


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Azzam, N. A. and Kuehn, D. P. (1977) The morphology of the musculus uvulae. Cleft Palate Journal, 14: 7886.
Croft, C. E., Shprintzen, R. J., Daniller, A. and Lewin, M. (1978) The occult submucous cleft palate and the musculus uvulae. Cleft Palate Journal, 15: 150155.
Fox, D. R. and Johns, D. (1970) Predicting velopharyngeal closure with modified tongue- anchor technique. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 35: 248251.
Haddock, R. E. and Chidue, A. D. (1965) Uvulectomy in Coastal Tanzania. Central African Journal of Medicine, 11: 331334.
Ijaduola, G. T. A. (1982 a) Uvulectomy in Nigeria. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 96: 11251127.
Ijaduola, G. T. A. (1982 b) Uvula Elongata in Nigerians. Central African Medical Journal, 28: 222225.
Ijaduola, G. T. A. (1982 c) Harzards of uvulectomy in Nigeria. East African Medical Journal, 28: 771774.
Passavant, G. (1879) Concerning the improvement in speech after operation on the palate. Archives Kliniki Chirurgicheskii, 23: 771776.
Piggott, R. W., Benson, J. F. and White, R. D. (1969) Nasoendoscopy in diagnosis of velopharyngeal incompetence. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 43: 141147.
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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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