T. Maistry; L. Lazarus; P. Partab & K. S. Satyapal
This study provides a detailed description of the arteries supplying the soft palate via: (i) ascending palatine; (ii) tonsillar; (iii) ascending pharyngeal; and (iv) lesser palatine arteries. Detailed dissections were performed on each side of thirty fetal and twenty adult head and neck specimens (n=100). This investigation documents the arteries terminating at the respective parts (superior, middle and inferior) of the soft palate and demonstrated that the majority of arteries terminated at the superior (83%) and middle (63%) parts, whereas the inferior part (34%) was documented to receive the poorest arterial supply. The present study recognized anastomotic connections in 6% of fetal specimens i.e. (i) between the ascending palatine and lesser palatine arteries which terminated at the superior part of the soft palate in 4% of fetal cases, and (ii) between the ascending pharyngeal and recurrent pharyngeal arteries which terminated at the inferior part in 2% of fetal specimens. The position and relations of the soft palate arteries is of significance to minimize the risk of vascular disruption and myomucosal or mucosal flap failure during cleft palate repair and for the surgical correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency.