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November 1987

Postglossectomy Deglutitory and Articulatory Rehabilitation With Palatal Augmentation Prostheses

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Robbins and Ms Bowman) and Dental Oncology (Dr Jacob), The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston. Dr Robbins is now with the Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California San Diego Medical Center.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(11):1214-1218. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860110080012

• For patients who may have significantly impaired deglutitory and articulatory functions after glossectomy, an important aspect of the rehabilitative management in our institution is the use of palatal augmentation prostheses. The aim is to reduce the free space between the roof and floor of the oral cavity to permit stronger lingual propulsion during oral deglutition and better linguopalatal contact during articulation. We evaluated ten patients who received this device after glossectomy during the past two years. Modified barium swallows and voice recordings were performed when possible with and without the use of the palatal augmentation prosthesis. Articulatory and deglutitory functions were evaluated on a scaled score ranging from 0 to 10 points. The scores of the patients' average immediate improvements were 4.5 points (range, 2 to 7) for articulation and 3.5 points (range, 2 to 7) for deglutition; the scores of average long-term improvements were 3.4 points (range, 2 to 7) and 2.2 points (range, 6 to 8), respectively. Patients using the palatal augmentation prosthesis experienced significant improvement in both functions. We believe that this device contributes greatly to rehabilitative therapy for patients who have undergone extirpative surgery for tumors of the oral cavity.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1987;113:1214-1218)

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