An oromaxillary fistula is an abnormal passageway between one of the sinuses on either side of your nose (maxillary sinuses ) and the roof of your mouth. It may develop as a birth defect (linked with a cleft palate), as a complication of removing a tooth, or from infection or trauma. Sometimes the roots of a tooth are so close to the bone under a maxillary sinus that the bone is damaged when the tooth is removed. This can open a passage between the mouth and sinus.
Before surgery, you may have an imaging test, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, to help the doctor plan your surgery.
A surgeon may choose one of several techniques to close the fistula. One of the most common methods is called flap advancement. It involves cutting a U-shaped flap of skin in the side or roof of the mouth (sometimes both) and stretching the flap over the fistula. Sometimes a surgeon will place a piece of medical-grade foil over the opening and then stitch the skin flap over the foil.
You probably will have general anesthesia, which means you will be unconscious during the operation.