June 1995

Maxillary Swing Approach for Resection of Tumors In and Around the Nasopharynx

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Wei, Ho, Yuen, Fung, and Lam) and Radiation Oncology (Dr Sham), The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(6):638-642. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890060036007

T efficacy of the anterolateral approach to the nasopharynx and its vicinity was evaluated. Using this maxillary swing approach, we have removed tumors in and around the nasopharyngeal region in 26 patients. Among them, 18 suffered from recurrent primary nasopharyngeal carcinoma after external radiotherapy, three patients had chordoma, two had schwannoma, one had adenocarcinoma of the nasopharynx, and one had malignant fibrous histiocytoma. The last patient had a recurrent deep-lobe parotid gland tumor localized in the paranasopharyngeal space. The facial wounds in all 26 patients healed primarily with no evidence of necrosis of the maxilla. Seven patients developed palatal fistula, five of them subsequently healed, whereas one patient required surgical closure and one had to wear a dental plate. This group of patients was followed up from 4 to 42 months (median, 15 months). Among the 18 patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, five had local recurrence, four died of other conditions, and nine of them are still alive with no evidence of disease. This gives an actuarial control of tumor in the nasopharynx of 42% at 3.5 years. In the eight patients remaining, one died of recurrent chordoma, two are alive with recurrent disease, and five are free of disease. Exposure of the nasopharynx and the paranasopharyngeal space is possible using the anterolateral approach. The associated morbidity is low. (Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:638-642)