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 MINI SYMPOSIUM: HEAD AND NECK
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-14

Suspension of the tongue to the digastric tendon following resection of the anterior mandibular arch for oral cancer prevents postoperative tongue fall and avoids the need for tracheostomy


Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Correspondence Address:
D Pandey
Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.98908

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Background: Resection of the anterior arch of the mandible leads to tongue fall and postoperative stridor because of the detachment of tongue musculature from the mandible. In this article, a simple method of tongue suspension is described which would prevent such complications and the need for tracheostomy. Settings and Design: This study was carried out on patients with oral cancer requiring resection of the anterior arch of the mandible as a part of the surgical resection at a tertiary centre. Materials and Methods: This study was performed on 32 patients with oral cancer requiring resection of the anterior arch of the mandible as a part of the surgical resection. Following an appropriate resection of the oral cancer (including the anterior mandibular arch) and neck dissection, a silk suture is used to loop the tongue musculature on either side to the intermediate tendon of the digastric muscle. Result: This technique of tongue suspension was used in 32 patients who required resection of the anterior mandibular arch for oral cancer. Prophylactic tracheostomy was not performed. One patient developed stridor at extubation and required temporary tracheostomy. All other patients could be successfully extubated within 12 h of surgery and none experienced postoperative stridor or sleep apnea. One other patient required temporary tracheostomy for pulmonary toilet as he developed aspiration pneumonitis related to nasogastric feed. Conclusion: This simple method of tongue suspension to the digastric tendon prevents postoperative tongue fall and obviates the need for tracheostomy in most instances.






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