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Head Neck. 2010 Jan;32(1):85-95. doi: 10.1002/hed.21155.

Oral sensation and function: a comparison of patients with innervated radial forearm free flap reconstruction to healthy matched controls.

Author information

1
Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM), Misericordia Community Hospital, Alberta, Canada. irene.loewen@capitalhealth.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Limited evidence exists for the use of innervated radial forearm free flap (RFFF) reconstruction of hemiglossectomy defects. This study reports on sensation, mastication, and speech outcomes for patients with innervated RFFF reconstruction of the anterior two-thirds of the tongue.

METHODS:

Sensation, mastication, and speech intelligibility were assessed in 8 patients and age- and sex-matched controls.

RESULTS:

Sensation of intact tongue tissue after reconstruction of the hemitongue did not differ from controls. Although some sensory ability was restored to patients' reconstructed tongue, differences existed between the patient group and controls. However, whole mouth sensations resulted in similar sensory ability as controls. Whereas patients demonstrated adequate masticatory and speech ability, differences existed between patients and controls.

CONCLUSION:

Although some sensory ability is preserved in patients who have had tongue reconstruction with an innervated RFFF, functional outcomes such as masticatory ability and speech intelligibility may be affected in some patients.

PMID:
19536773
DOI:
10.1002/hed.21155
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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