Stress velopharyngeal incompetence (SVPI) is a special form of velopharyngeal incompetence observed in musicians who play wind and brass instruments. Due to high intraoral pressures generated while playing, the velopharyngeal structures fail to seal off the nasopharynx properly, resulting in unwanted nasal air leakage or noises. We present two young female professional clarinetists who experience symptoms of SVPI that preclude the development of their professional career. Both musicians underwent an inferior based pharyngeal flap, a well-known flap frequently used in cleft palate surgery. Both musicians were symptom-free after surgery and remain free of nasal noises while playing the clarinet after 2 and 4 years of follow-up. We present a review of literature of management of SVPI and show that the inferior-based pharyngeal flap is a feasible option for management of these potentially career ending symptoms.
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Published online: January 04, 2012
Accepted: November 25, 2011
Received: November 6, 2011
© 2011 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.