Larynx-preserving reconstruction after extended base of the tongue resection

Hideki Kadota, Junichi Fukushima, Sei Yoshida, Kenichi Kamizono, Muneyuki Masuda, Satoshi Toh, Ryuji Yasumatsu, Torahiko Nakashima, Takashi Nakagawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: As the base of the tongue (BOT) plays essential roles in speech and swallowing, surgical resection of BOT cancer is typically avoided. Moreover, standard reconstructive procedures for larynx-preserving BOT defects have not yet been established. We performed immediate flap reconstruction after wide resection of BOT cancer with laryngeal preservation. Herein, the functional and oncological results of our strategy were analysed. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients who underwent extended BOT resection (including the oral tongue, upper/lateral oropharyngeal wall, epiglottis and false vocal cord) with laryngeal preservation between April 2006 and April 2016. We classified defects involving the oral tongue or upper/lateral oropharyngeal wall as the lateral extension type and those involving the epiglottis or false vocal cord as the laryngeal extension type. Lateral extension-type defects were closed primarily and filled with a deepithelialised skin or muscle flap. Laryngeal extension-type defects were reconstructed using a bulky skin flap plus hyo-thyroid-pexy to create a neo-epiglottis. Postoperative functional and oncologic outcomes were assessed. Results: We enrolled 18 patients with extended BOT defects. Of them, 11 had a history of irradiation. The tracheal cannula was removed in all cases, although laryngeal extension defects were associated with a longer duration to removal. All patients achieved complete oral intake and retained intelligible speech, with preservation of laryngeal function. There was no local recurrence, and the 5-year overall survival was 88.9%. Conclusions: Following wide BOT resection, reconstruction with laryngeal preservation is feasible even in cases involving irradiated tumours with laryngeal extension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-748
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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