After your child has a palate repair surgery, most people would think that they are out of the woods and nothing else will have to be done. Unfortunately, approximately 15-25% of children born with a cleft palate will develop Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). Our birth defects attorneys think that parents should be informed about the possibilities that may affect their child, and be able to react in a well-informed manner.
What is Velopharyngeal dysfunction?
Velopharyngeal dysfunction occurs when the open space between the back wall of the throat and the soft palate cannot be properly closed during speech. Unfortunately, this results in an unwanted escape of air or sound through the nose during speech. Essentially, this dysfunction may result in what is called hyper-nasal speech. The sounds that create speech come from both the nose and the mouth. When we speak, the majority of those sounds should come from the mouth alone. Closing the velopharyngeal space allows people to build pressure in the mouth and make the appropriate speech sounds. When a VPD is present, air comes through the nose that should not, and speech becomes too nasal.
In many cases, after surgery has been completed, or if surgery is not going to be undertaken, there are other options that can be explore. There are appliances that your doctor may recommend that can help alleviate these issues and eliminate the hyper-nasal speech problem.
Birth Defects Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
Giving birth to a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate begs the question,”Do I need the assistance of birth defects attorneys?” They are necessary when a birth defect is caused by a deviation in the standard of care. For example, contacting our experienced professionals would be beneficial to you and your child if Topamax (Topiramate) was taken during pregnancy. The FDA has recently announced that Topamax has been linked to an increase in the development of cleft lips and palates. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.