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The Jaw The Throat

The Jaw

Loss of the jaw through massive injury or tumor surgery can be devastating to appearance and to function. The patient's ability to speak, chew, and contain his food and saliva can be lost when there is a major jaw deficit. When soft tissue cover is not an issue and the missing jaw segment is small, bone grafting alone can produce a satisfactory result. If the jaw deficit is large, however, and soft tissues are missing, the best reconstruction will involve transfer of large blocks of complex tissues which will replace both the hard and soft tissues. In many situations, the best option will be a microvascular tissue transfer from the hip or the lateral calf.

Complex Jaw Reconstruction- Lateral

Complex Jaw Reconstruction- Chin


The Throat

Cancers at the base of the tongue and within the throat will sometimes require the removal of a sizable segment of the throat. Rearrangement of local tissues to close these gaps is often not possible. In the past, flaps of skin from the neck were tunneled into the throat and made into tubes to replace the defecits. This would require multiple operations for completion and was often followed by narrowing ("stricture") of the new segment. Today it is possible to replace the soft throat lining with similar tissues borrowed from the small intestine (bowel). This provides a reconstruction which is quite natural and allows the return of normal swallowing.

Throat Reconstruction

2/21/00

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