In the surgical management of oral cancer the resection and reconstruction of the mobile tongue and soft palate are most important if function is to be maintained. The present trend towards primary laryngeal surgery for early disease has emphasized the importance of primary surgery if good functional outcomes can be achieved. This study compares the functional and health-related quality of life outcomes for primary surgery and reconstruction of the anterior tongue and soft palate. From a cohort of 566 patients treated from 1992 to 2002, 118 fitted the criteria for anterior tongue and 44 for soft palate resection. University of Washington Quality of Life scores were available in around three quarters of patients. In terms of speech and swallowing a 3/4 or total anterior glossectomy had a worse outcome than a 1/4 or 1/2. In patients having a 3/4 or total resection of the soft palate however, the results showed a similar outcome to those with 1/4 or 1/2 resection. The functional results of 3/4 and total soft palate reconstruction were superior to 3/4 and total anterior tongue resections and were similar to the whole cohort. This finding extends the role of functional surgery in the oropharynx for which primary radiotherapy is often preferred to preserve function.
|Journal||International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2006|