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January 1990

Functional Consequences of Surgery for Oral Cancer

Author Affiliations

Chicago, Ill

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(1):13. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870010015002

On June 27, 1989, at the Fifth International Symposium of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Head and Neck in Toronto, Canada, Ian A. McGregor, FRCS, Glasgow, Scotland, reported on his experience with managing tumors of the tongue and mandible. His conclusions emphasized the importance of soft-tissue reconstruction for reestablishing adequate functional control of the oral cavity. Tethering of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, especially anteriorly, was found to be the most important factor causing poor speech and faulty food and saliva control. One should endeavor to maintain or restore shape and volume to the tongue, and to preserve its mobility. Maneuvers that folded the tongue on itself, or those that approximated a superior glossal incision to an inferior floor of mouth incision, frequently restricted motion of the tongue and hindered postoperative functional oral rehabilitation. Tethering can often be avoided with the liberal use of skin grafts and/or

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