Repair of Oromaxillary Fistula - Surgery Overview

An oromaxillary fistula is an abnormal passageway between one of the sinuses on either side of your nose (maxillary sinuses camera.gif) 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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