Quadruple Salivary Duct Diversion for Drooling in Cerebral Palsy

Ozden B. C., Aydin A., Kuvat S. V., Yazar M., Ozmen M., Tatli B.

JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY, vol.23, no.3, pp.738-741, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/scs.0b013e31824dbe98
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.738-741
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Drooling complicates many neurologic disorders including cerebral palsy. It is socially debilitating for the patient and very tedious for the caregiver. Surgical treatment consists mainly of ablative (excision/ligation) or physiological (diversion) methods; combined techniques have also been proposed. We have applied bilateral diversion of both submandibular and parotid ducts in 12 cerebral palsy patients (age range, 7-15 years). Preoperative drooling severity was grade 4/5 in 10 cases and grade 5/5 in 2 of the cases. All patients underwent physiotherapy for a minimum of 6 months and were consulted with a dentist, otolaryngologist, and a speech therapist before surgery. No bleeding, hematoma, or infection has been observed in any of the patients. Two patients had early postoperative tongue edema that regressed with conservative treatment. All patients except one regressed to grade 2/5 drooling by the first postoperative month. In 1 patient who had previously been classified as grade 5/5, surgery provided limited improvement with only 1 grade of step-down. Satisfactory results for the patients and their families could be achieved and sustained for a median 18 months (7-20 months) of follow-up. In conclusion, the quadruple duct diversion method is an effective physiological surgical method in the control of drooling in cerebral palsy.