Background: We report a novel reconstruction technique that maintained effective swallowing after total glossolaryngectomy (TGL) by restoring pharyngeal constriction using a vascularized vastus lateralis muscle transfer. Methods: A 65-year-old male with recurrent tongue cancer underwent TGL and anterolateral thigh flap reconstruction with the vastus lateralis muscle. The bilateral cut ends of the remaining posterior pharyngeal wall constrictor muscle were sutured to the transferred vastus lateralis muscle so that the two muscles encircled the reconstructed pharynx. The femoral nerve of the vastus lateralis muscle was coapted to the hypoglossal nerve. Results: Videofluorographic examination showed the contrast bolus flowing smoothly with little assistance from gravity. Laryngoscopic examination showed circumferential constriction of the reconstructed pharynx. The patient could swallow soft food without placing the bolus in his posterior oral cavity or drinking simultaneously. Conclusion: The restoration of pharyngeal constriction introduces the possibility of functional swallowing in patients after TGL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes