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J Clin Exp Dent. 2014 Oct 1;6(4):e452-5. doi: 10.4317/jced.51606. eCollection 2014 Oct.

Functional reconstruction after subtotal glossectomy in the surgical treatment of an uncommon and aggressive neoplasm in this location: Primary malignant melanoma in the base of the tongue.

Author information

1
Resident Surgeon. University Hospital Infanta Cristina, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Badajoz, Spain.
2
Attending Surgeon. University Hospital Infanta Cristina, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Badajoz, Spain.
3
Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial. University Hospital Infanta Cristina, Badajoz, Spain.

Abstract

Primary malignant melanoma of the oral cavity is a rare neoplasm, especially on the tongue. We report a case of mucosal melanoma at the base of the tongue, an extremely rare location (only about 30 cases have been reported in literature). The extension study doesn´t revealed distant metastatic lesions. The patient was treated by subtotal glossectomy and bilateral functional neck dissection. Tongue is one of the most difficult structures to reconstruct, because of their central role in phonation, swallowing and airway protection. The defect was reconstructed with anterolateral thigh free flap. Surgical treatment was supplemented with adjuvant immunotherapy. The post-operative period was uneventful. At present, 24 months after surgery, patient is asymptomatic, there isn´t evidence of recurrence of melanoma and he hasn´t any difficulty in swallowing or phonation. Key words:Malignant mucosal melanoma, anterolateral thigh free flap, phonation, swallowing.

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