Invasion of the mandible is found in 22% to 29% of advanced (Stage III-IV) head and neck cancers; only an aggressive surgical technique, such as Commando's operation with subsequent reconstruction of tissue defects, can give a chance of cure to these patients. The reconstruction is feasible both by means of microsurgical free-tissue transfers or with alloplastic materials and myocutaneous flaps. Between 1982 and 1991, 34 patients in Stage III (n = 6; 17.7%) and IV (n = 28; 82.3%) head and neck cancers underwent Commando's operation with different types of reconstruction in 30 patients: pectoralis myocutaneous flap (n = 9), osteo-myocutaneous flap with the underlying segment of the fifth rib (n = 2), myocutaneous flap plus prosthesis (n = 17), or prosthesis alone (n = 2). Two different prostheses were implanted: the linear A-O mandibular reconstruction plate (n = 13), and the Dumbach titanium cage (n = 6). In the group of patients in which the linear A-O mandibular reconstruction plate was used there were four cases of prosthesis dislodgement and major exposure and one case of prosthesis breakage while in patients who were given the Dumbach titanium cage there were four cases of major exposure. Prosthesis removal was required in five and two patients with linear A-O and Dumbach titanium cage prosthesis, respectively. Median survival was 14 months with 28% five-year survival. In our experience, metallic prostheses with a shape and arrangement that allow a distribution of traction forces on a wider surface, with screws drilled in nonaligned points of the mandible, seem to be more reliable as they reduce the risk of dislodgement and breakage.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||European Journal of Surgical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1993|
- Head and neck cancer
- Mandibular reconstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas