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February 1980

Composite Resection and Reconstruction for Oral Cavity and Oropharynx Cancer: A Functional Approach

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Dr LaFerriere is now at the USAF Medical Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Dr Wood is now with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1980;106(2):103-110. doi:10.1001/archotol.1980.00790260035011

• Composite resection, the standard surgical approach for treating cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx, results in considerable functional and cosmetic deformity, whether primary closure or flap reconstruction is employed. To minimize these problems, an alternate surgical approach has been developed. Essentials of the procedure include use of a non-lip-splitting visor flap for exposure and excision of the lesion, reconstruction with a skin or dermis graft formed into a pouch to fill dead space created by resection, and routine use of intermaxillary fixation for immobilization of the reconstructed area. In 16 patients undergoing this procedure, the approach had no adverse effect on short-term survival. Complication rate with skin and dermis graft reconstruction was acceptably low. Cosmetic improvement has been gratifying. Skin or dermis graft reconstruction has resulted in very satisfactory functional results in terms of tongue mobility, articulation, mastication, and swallowing.

(Arch Otolaryngol 106:103-110, 1980)