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Head and neck reconstruction

There are various types of cancer that affect different parts of a human body. Cancer that affect head and neck may include throat cancer, larynx cancer, oral cancer etc. Most of these issues may lead to functional and cosmetic defects which may result in physical, psychological, and nutritional disability. All these may affect the quality of life of the individual.

Reconstruction method requires a team approach. For reconstruction, the surgeon will consider age, sex , body habitus and functional status of the patient.

Cancer treatments like different combinations of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy etc. may have certain treatment related side effects. Reconstruction surgery becomes vital in such conditions. There are several reconstruction techniques for head and neck. They are:

  • Free muscle transfer: This procedure is to reconstruct the skull base or cranial vault. It is done by harvesting the muscle from the back or abdominal region. The muscle helps to heal complex wounds fast.
  • Free bone transfer: It is considered to be the most difficult bony defects as it requires precise alignment of bone and skin coverage. Usually, bone is used for mandibular reconstruction. Nowadays, technological advances allows it to use for midface and orbitomaxillary reconstruction.
  • Free skin and free fat transfer: In this procedure, the skin will be harvested from the donor site to the recipient site. Steriotactic radiosurgery is used to reconstruct the contour defects of the head, neck, head etc.

For all these surgeries, the patient will be sedated for the first night and awaken only in the next morning. The candidate might have to stay in the intensive care unit for about two days after the surgery. An additional hospital stay for five to seven days will also be required. The surgeon may suggest you physical therapies or other rehabilitation therapies during the recovery period.

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