Thirty-three patients with cleft palate are reviewed. The late effects on the ear of delayed closure of the hard palate after early soft palate repair are compared with the results of simulaneous early closure of both hard and soft palate clefts. Delayed closure of the hard palate does not affect the incidence of otitis media, the number of insertions of ventilation tubes or the findings on otoscopy. The prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss is significantly raised by late closure of the hard palate. The reason for this is unknown.
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