The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of antenatal palatal surgery in a sheep model. At 75 to 90 days of gestation, 20 fetuses underwent surgical in utero manipulation of their palates with the incision and elevation of bilateral bipedicled mucoperiosteal flaps. Sixteen of the 20 sheep (80 percent) went on to a normal full-term delivery. The palates and facial appearances were grossly evaluated, and detailed measurements were made of the palates. The data underwent statistical analysis. We were unable to discern any differences between the experimental group and the age- matched controls. Antenatal palatal surgery appeared to have no effect on craniofacial growth and development.
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