Lip-splitting in transmandibular resections: Is it really necessary?

Giulio Cantù, Gabriella Bimbi, Sarah Colombo, Alvaro Compan, Roberta Gilardi, Madia Pompilio, Stefano Riccio, Marco Rossi, Massimo Squadrelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mandibular resection approach (Commando or Composite resection) is one of the fundamental techniques for oral and oropharyngeal large tumour resection. We reviewed the charts of patients who underwent a transmandibular resection for an oral and/or oropharyngeal cancer between 1980 and 2002. Of 700 patients who underwent a mandibular resection for cancer, 332 had been operated without lower lip splitting. A mono or bilateral en-block neck dissection was always performed, except in cases of relapses after a prior surgical treatment with neck dissection. We repaired 307 patients with flaps (pedicled or free flaps, with or without bone). Unsplitting of the lip never complicated resection and reconstruction. Furthermore the procedure was time sparing, as we avoided haemostasis and suture of the lip. The cosmetic results were better than those obtained by traditional technique. We used a non-lip-splitting technique also for pull-through, marginal mandibulectomy and, sometimes, for mandibular-swing approaches. In the latter case, the technique has some advantages and disadvantages and must be applied according to circumstances. We can conclude that lip-splitting in transmandibular resection for oral and oropharyngeal tumours is not necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-624
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Cancer surgery
  • Lip splitting
  • Oral cancer
  • Oropharingeal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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