The treatment of otorrhea in children with cleft palate: An institutional review | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

The treatment of otorrhea in children with cleft palate: An institutional review

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April 30, 2017
by Stephen Nogan, MD; Katie Phillips, MD; Jonathan Grischkan, MD


We conducted a retrospective observational chart review to characterize otorrhea in patients with cleft palate (CP) after tympanostomy tube placement in terms of the bacteria profile, treatment effectiveness, and overall disease burden. A total of 157 patients over 6 years were reviewed. Fifty of the 157 patients (31.8%) experienced postoperative otorrhea. Of the 50 patients with otorrhea, all received topical antibiotics, 30 received oral antibiotics, and 12 received povidone-iodine irrigations. The average duration of otorrhea was 5.2 months for patients with povidone-iodine irrigations and 8.5 months for those without povidone-iodine irrigations. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly cultured microorganism. The average number of total healthcare visits over a 12-month period was 13.6 per patient. We conclude that postoperative otorrhea is a common problem after tympanostomy tube placement in children with CP and places a significant burden on these patients and the healthcare system. The bacteriologic profile may be different in this population compared with the non-CP population with otorrhea after tympanostomy, and a search for more effective treatment options is warranted, including further investigation into povidone-iodine irrigations.

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