Novel use of osmotic tissue expanders to treat difficult anterior palatal fistulas

Tina F. Jenq, Stuart M. Hilliard, Anna A. Kuang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    Objective: Novel use of osmotic tissue expanders to recruit local palatal mucoperiosteum for the treatment of difficult anterior palatal fistulas. Design: This is a retrospective review of our experience with osmotic tissue expanders for closure of secondary palatal fistulas. Setting: The study occurred at Oregon Health and Science University, a tertiary care level academic hospital. Patients, Participants: All patients were treated for combined cleft lip and palate by the Oregon Health and Science University Craniofacial Disorders multidisciplinary team. They were determined to be appropriate candidates due to the anterior location of the fistula and symptomatic nature. Patients complained of significant nasal regurgitation of liquid and solids. Interventions: All patients underwent a two-stage procedure under general anesthesia. The first stage was placement of the expanders. The second stage was 1 week later, with removal of the expanders, palatal revision, and closure of the oronasal fistula. Main Outcome Measure: The primary outcome measures determined before data collection were treatment of symptoms and decreased size of fistula. Results: Seven patients with palatal fistulas were treated with osmotic tissue expanders. Five patients had complete closure of the fistula. Two patients demonstrated slit-like fistulas that were no longer symptomatic and were amenable to closure at time of alveolar bone grafting. No complications were observed. Conclusions: The use of osmotic tissue expanders is a viable alternative for repair of large anterior palatal fistulas, especially in a scarred or previously operated palate. Patients were also no longer symptomatic.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)217-221
    Number of pages5
    JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2011


    • Cleft palate
    • Osmotic tissue expander
    • Palate fistula

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oral Surgery
    • Otorhinolaryngology


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