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Jaw Reconstruction could be Possible in Oral Cancer Patients

found that the radiation therapy, which they had suspected could interrupt the bone consolidation prior to the study, had no ill effects on the bone's healing.

‘Patients with large oral tumors should have radiation therapy after surgery to decrease the chances of cancer recurrence,’ says Dr. Price. ‘Radiation needs to be completed 13 to 14 weeks after the patient's cancer diagnosis to achieve maximum effect. As these patients require mandible reconstruction after tumor removal, we wanted to find a way to get both the radiation and the reconstruction done quickly and concurrently.’

Dr. Price says that it is also preferable to start the reconstruction when the tumor is removed, as demonstrated in this method, rather than wait until radiation therapy is completed, because immediate reconstruction minimizes scar tissue and is better tolerated by the patient.

The standard procedure for jaw reconstruction following removal of an oral cancer is transfer of bone from the patient's fibula in the leg, along with surrounding muscle, skin and the supplying vessels. Although the aesthetic and functional result for the mandible can be good, this procedure has drawbacks, including:

The surgery takes all day to complete and is expensive

The patient has a second surgical site to heal (leg and mandible) and is less mobile post-surgery

In male patients, the transfer of fibula and surrounding skin can lead to the appearance of leg hair inside the patient's mouth

The surgery is not feasible for patients who do not have healthy vessels in their legs.

The aesthetic result in the leg post-surgery is less than ideal.

The surgery can inadvertently damage the leg's nerves, leaving the patient with some leg weakness

The fibula bone can die following transfer

‘If we could avoid the whole process of going to another part of the body in order to reconstruct a patient's jaw, it would be be
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