Pharyngeal flap - Speech Management Surgery (1333)

Key points below

Speech management surgery

Why is my child’s speech hard to understand?

The soft palate is the back part of the roof of the mouth. The pharynx is the back of the throat. When the muscles of the soft palate and the pharynx do not work well together, it is called velopharyngeal insufficiency, or VPI. If there is not a good seal between the inside of the nose and the mouth, air may leak through the nose during some speech sounds. This can give your child’s speech a nasal quality. This can make it hard to understand your child, especially over the phone or by unfamiliar listeners.

How is it treated?

Your child is going to have a surgical procedure called a pharyngeal flap. It is done to improve the quality of your child’s speech. Tissue from the back of the throat will be rearranged and attached to the palate. This will create a physical barrier, which will reduce the amount of air going through the nose when your child speaks.

What happens after surgery?

After surgery, your child:


Follow up

For more information

Check out this resource:


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • A hard time breathing. If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • A hard time sleeping.
  • Severe pain that does not go away.
  • A large amount of bleeding from the nose or mouth.
  • Vomiting that will not stop.
  • A fever of 101 F (38.3C) or higher.
  • Not been drinking enough fluids.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.