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What is the Uvula for? (email discussion)


Since Gaelin doesn't have a roof to his mouth at all (he's bilateral with complete clefts of both the soft and hard palates), when they go in, later, to repair the soft palate, isn't this going to cause gagging postoperatively? He doesn't have anything there, right now. So, to build something so far back in the mouth (as I'm assuming a uvula will also be "created", correct?) how will he not feel choke-y and gaggy?

----- Answers: -----

" will he not feel choke-y and gaggy?"

Not a problem. He'll get used to it. It may be strange to him at first, but by the time everything has healed, he'll be used to it.

Also, they may not build the uvula. Many kids don't have one.


"Ryan's uvula is on the side of throat at the back of his mouth. Will they move it to the middle when his palate is repaired? Is it usual to place it there if they have one?  Also, what is the uvula for?"

If he has one to begin with, he will likely end up with it in the center. It may look totally normal (as Jessica's and Joey's do) or it may look kind of short and flat (as Jacob's does) or it may not be there at all (I've seen it in other kids).

The uvula is not real essential. It's kind of like a little toe or an earlobe. Non-essential equipment. I understand that it plays a role in enabling a baby to be able to lie on its back and drink at the same time.

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