Swallowing Function After Surgery for Oral Cavity Tumors Patients with cancer of the oral cavity may require surgical resection for control of their disease. However, resection of structures in the oral cavity may result in profound disturbances in swallowing function. In this article, the impact of surgical treatment for cancers of the oral cavity on swallowing function ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2001
Swallowing Function After Surgery for Oral Cavity Tumors
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara Roa Pauloski
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2001
Swallowing Function After Surgery for Oral Cavity Tumors
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2001, Vol. 10, 4-11. doi:10.1044/sasd10.4.4
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2001, Vol. 10, 4-11. doi:10.1044/sasd10.4.4
Patients with cancer of the oral cavity may require surgical resection for control of their disease. However, resection of structures in the oral cavity may result in profound disturbances in swallowing function. In this article, the impact of surgical treatment for cancers of the oral cavity on swallowing function will be discussed.
One of the primary determinants of postoperative swallowing function in patients treated surgically for oral cavity cancers is the type of resection, which may be separated into simple resection and composite resection. A simple resection is defined as a resection limited to a single anatomical structure. Surgical excision restricted to the lateral tongue or to the floor of mouth, for example, would be a simple resection. A composite resection is defined as resection of a portion of two or more structures. A tumor infiltrating the anterior tongue and floor of mouth, or the lateral tongue, lateral floor of mouth, and adjacent alveolar ridge would require a composite resection. Closely associated with the type of surgical resection is the extent of resection. In general, the larger the resection, the greater swallowing function will be impaired. (McConnel et al., 1994; Martini, Har-El, Lucente, & Slavit, 1997; Hirano, et al. 1992; Fujimoto, Hasegawa, Nakayama, & Mat-suura, 1998; Gagnebin, Jaques, & Pasche, 2000; Zuydam, Rogers, Brown, Vaughan, & Magennis, 2000). However, the degree of resection of structures vital to bolus formation and transit, such as oral tongue and tongue base, will have a greater impact on postsurgical swallow function than will the extent of involvement of other structures, such as lateral floor of mouth or alveolar ridge.
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