- A dictionary of medical eponyms

LANGENBECK’S OPERATION FOR CLEFT PALATE

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Description

Devised in 1861. The Langenbeck operation is accomplished by dissection of muco-periosteal flaps obtained from either side of the cleft, and sutured in the middle line. Although called after the Langenbeck, it is certain that similar plans had been previously employed by others.

Operations upon the soft palate were undertaken much earlier than upon the hard. As far back as 1760 a dentist named Lemonnier united the borders of a cleft in a child. Desault and others record similar cases in the first decade of this century.

The Langenbeck operation consists of the following steps :
1st. Freeing of muco-periosteal flaps.
2nd. Freshening the edges of the cleft.
3rd. Placing and tying of sutures.
4th. Relief of lateral tension.

Bibliography

Bernhard Langenbeck:
•  Operation der angebornen totalen Spaltung des harten Gaumens
   nach einer neuen Methode.
   (New operation for complete cleft of the hard palate). 
   Deutsche Klinik, 1861. 13: 231.

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