The role of the nasopharyngeal prong in craniofacial disorders in particular the Pierre Robin sequence

Published:September 17, 2021DOI:


      There are a wide range of surgical and maxillofacial options to alleviate upper airway obstruction in children with craniofacial disorders. The nasopharyngeal prong (NPP) is a simple idea where the airway obstruction arising from the posteriorly placed tongue secondary to a small mandible can be overcome quickly and without resorting to more invasive surgical procedures.
      The role of the NPP is of particular interest in Robin sequence (RS). RS describes a congenital anomaly with retrognathia (often with associated U-shaped cleft palate) where in some children the tongue and small jaw can significantly impact on airway patency with upper airway obstruction. The NPP is a modified endotracheal tube, of ideal diameter and cut to a desired length that can bypass the airway obstruction and regain patency to the upper airway. RS has a natural history of mandibular growth and resolution of the symptoms with time and thus the NPP presents a medium term solution precluding the need in selected children of more permanent and potentially unnecessary surgical procedures.
      The role of the NPP in other craniofacial disorders (either as a temporary solution or longer term option) requires further research.


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