Treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency by pharyngeal and velar fat injections

Giovanna Cantarella, Riccardo F. Mazzola, Mario Mantovani, Giovanna Baracca, Lorenzo Pignataro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness of fat injections in the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). The study involved 10 patients (6 adults aged 19-48 years and 4 children aged 5-13 years) with mild/moderate VPI who were injected with 3.5 to 8 mL of fat in the posterior, lateral pharyngeal walls and soft palate under general anaesthesia. A second fat-grafting procedure was performed in 2 patients to achieve further improvement. Nasoendoscopy revealed a reduction in the closure gap in all patients, and the perceptual evaluation demonstrated improved speech intelligibility and resonance and reduced nasal air leakage in all cases (P <.005). The aerodynamic assessment showed a significant reduction in nasal airflow during phonation (P <.05). Follow-up was 6 to 23 months. In conclusion, fat injections improved voice resonance and reduced nasal air escape in all treated cases and can be a promising alternative to major procedures, such as velopharyngoplasties, for the treatment of mild/moderate VPI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-403
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Fat injection
  • Hypernasality
  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

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