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February 1992

Salvage Surgery by Composite Resection for Epidermoid Carcinoma of the Tonsillar Region

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Chirurgie-Otorhinolaryngology and Cervicofacial Surgery, Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(2):181-184. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880020079019

• Radiation therapy has usually been used as the primary treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the posterior aspect of the oral cavity and the lateral aspect of the oropharyngeal walls. However, local failure occurs in a certain number of cases, depending on the initial tumor stage. One hundred thirty-four composite resections (transmaxillary buccopharyngectomies) have been performed as a salvage treatment at the Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France, from January 1, 1976, through December 31, 1985, for local failure of epidermoid carcinomas treated initially by radiotherapy. Average time between primary irradiation and salvage surgery was 18 months. Most of the patients underwent some kind of supraomohyoid neck dissection. A myocutaneous flap was used in 18% of cases, which significantly reduced the rate of local complications. The nasogastric tube and the tracheostomy cannula were removed after a median delay of 23 days and 24 days, respectively. Early postoperative local complications occurred in 45% of cases; most of them were minor. A new locoregional recurrence occurred in approximately half of the patients and was usually fatal. Overall survival after salvage surgery was 34% at 3 years and 23% at 5 years. The only statistically significant prognostic factor was the adequacy of surgical margins.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118:181-184)

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