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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1987 Dec;16(6):656-64.

Surgical treatment of premalignant lesions of the oral mucosa.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Medicine, University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Oral premalignant lesions were treated by surgical excision in 61 patients. Criteria for inclusion in the study were epithelial dysplasia varying from slight to carcinoma in situ, or a non-dysplastic lesion located sublingually or on the tongue. The clinical diagnosis of the treated lesions were: erythroplakia 10, erythroleukoplakia 15, nodular leukoplakia 9, verrucous leukoplakia 9, homogeneous leukoplakia 13, and lichen planus 5. The surgically created defects were closed by direct approximation of the wound edges in 25 patients, transposition by a local mucosal flap in 9, covered with a free mucosal graft in 3, and by a free split skin transplant in 24 patients. The patients have been followed for an average period of 3.9 years after the operation. A recurrence rate of 20% was found, and 3 carcinomas developed in the follow-up period. The importance of using a surgical technique permitting histological examination of the entire lesion was documented by the finding of 4 superficial carcinomas in the excision specimen, undiagnosed in the preoperative biopsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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