You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on

This one is about: Use of the Tongue-Stitch during Palate Repair

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Comments by Dr. John Canady

The tongue stitch is fairly commonly used. The purpose of putting a suture in the end of the tongue is to allow someone (doctor or nurse) to pull out the tongue in case of an airway problem soon after surgery. If there is a lot of swelling in the soft palate and tongue, the patient's ability to move air past these swollen structures may be decreased. By moving the tongue forward, the area can be opened up a little until other measures can be taken to help the patient breathe. {I don't use the stitch all the time, but I do use it several times a year in selected cases}. Normally, the suture is removed a day or two after surgery and it causes no long term effects in the tongue.

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