December 22, 2018

What is Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI)? [VIDEO]

Velopharyngeal insufficiency or VPI is a difficult medical condition for patients who are not medical professionals to understand. This video attempts to explain what VPI is...

VPI is a medical condition characterized by hypernasal speech and if severe enough, food and liquid nasal regurgitation during swallow. During normal speech and swallow, the soft palate closes tight against the back wall of the pharynx thereby completely separating the nasal cavity from the mouth. In patients suffering from VPI, there is a persistent opening between the soft palate and back wall during speech in this animation denoted by the green arrow. This opening allows air escape during speech and food/liquid nasal regurgitation during swallow if severe enough.

VPI may be a congenital condition, often associated with cleft palate, but can also occur after tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and UPPP.

If you are curious about how VPI is fixed, watch this video!

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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