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Head and Face Medicine

, 3:9

First Online: 05 February 2007Received: 02 November 2006Accepted: 05 February 2007


BackgroundCleft surgery in infants includes special risks due to the kind of the malformation. These risks can be attributed in part to the age and the weight of the patient. Whereas a lot of studies investigated the long-term facial outcome of cleft surgery depending on the age at operation, less is known about the complications arising during a cleft surgery in early infancy.

MethodsWe investigated the incidence and severity of perioperative complications in 174 infants undergoing primary cleft surgery. The severity and the complications were recorded during the intraoperative and the early postoperative period according to the classification by Cohen.

ResultsOur study revealed that minor complications occurred in 50 patients. Severe complications were observed during 13 operations. There was no fatal complication in the perioperative period. The risk of complications was found to be directly correlated to the body weight at the time of the surgery. Most of the problems appeared intraoperatively, but they were also followed by complications immediately after the extubation.

ConclusionIn conclusion, cleft surgery in infancy is accompanied by frequent and sometimes severe perioperative complications that may be attributed to this special surgical field.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1746-160X-3-9 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Christoph Homann, Ulrich Meyer, Alexander Reich, Ulrich Joos and Richard Werkmeister contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Thomas Fillies - Christoph Homann - Ulrich Meyer - Alexander Reich - Ulrich Joos - Richard Werkmeister


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