Chromosomal and Genetic Conditions

About Your Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Visit

Where do I go for my appointment?

The first appointment of a velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) evaluation is in the Speech and Language Services Department located on level 8 near the Ocean entrance of the hospital.

You may have another appointment in the Otolaryngology Department on level 8, and a third appointment in Satellite Radiology on level 6.

What should I bring?

Usually it is unnecessary to bring anything from home for the first appointment with the speech language pathologist.

If your child is reluctant to speak, you might bring a favorite book or toy or an older sibling. Your child might be more willing to talk about something familiar or to respond if the older sibling produces sounds or says words first.

If you are scheduled for more than one appointment for the VPI evaluation, you may want to bring a snack or lunch. However, the cafeteria is conveniently located.

Who will I see during my appointment?

The first appointment of a VPI evaluation is with a speech language pathologist; the second is with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) and the SLP.

Your child may also be scheduled for a special X-ray that will be conducted by the SLP.

What may happen during my appointments?

A speech language pathologist will see your child for about an hour to assess your child's speech.

After speech testing, your child may have one or two additional tests. These procedures may be scheduled an hour or more after the speech test.

During the second appointment, an otolaryngologist performs a nasopharyngoscopy, using a flexible fiber optic tube inserted into the nose to see the back of the throat where the velopharyngeal muscles are attempting to close.

The other procedure that may be performed is a special X-ray of your child's palate and throat during speech. This test requires flavored drops to be inserted into the nose so the palate and throat muscles can be seen clearly.

Both of these procedures are recorded and will be reviewed with you. The speech management recommendations will be based on the results of these tests.

How long will I be at the hospital for my appointments?

Some families prefer to have all three speech testing appointments on the same day. That might mean you will be at the hospital most of the day.

Some families prefer to have speech testing done first and to have the other one or two procedures scheduled on a different day. You should allow a half day for those appointments, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.