Video fluoroscopic evaluation after glossectomy.

Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery

PubMedID: 10722012

Furia CL, Carrara-de Angelis E, Martins NM, Barros AP, Carneiro B, Kowalski LP. Video fluoroscopic evaluation after glossectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(3):378-83.
The swallowing deficits that result from oral or oropharyngeal resections vary considerably depending on the site, extension of the resection, and type of reconstruction. Most patients will experience some degree of dysphagia despite the reconstructive effort. Furthermore, a glossectomy is frequently associated with voice and speech difficulties.

To characterize swallowing in patients who underwent a glossectomy and to define the limits and the compensatory movements using video fluoroscopic analysis.

Video fluoroscopic evaluation of 15 patients who underwent glossectomies at the Centro de Tratamento e Pesquisa Hospital do Cancer A. C. Camargo, S*ao Paulo, Brazil.

We examined 15 patients: 5 who underwent a partial glossectomy, 2 who underwent a subtotal glossectomy, and 8 who underwent a total glossectomy with laryngeal preservation and reconstruction with myocutaneous flaps (9 pectoralis major flaps and 1 latissimus dorsi flap). The 15 patients were enrolled in a program that included voice, speech, and swallowing rehabilitation.

All patients who underwent a partial glossectomy had difficulties with formation and anteroposterior propulsion of the bolus in the oral cavity and an increase in oral transit time, which was more evident with materials of thicker consistencies. All patients who underwent a total or subtotal glossectomy with laryngeal preservation had an increase in oral transit time and stasis of food in the oral cavity, the pharynx, and the superior esophageal sphincter. Of the 15 patients, 2 had moderate and asymptomatic aspiration. These 2 patients had swallowing compensations, such as increased buccal, mandibular, pharyngeal, and laryngeal activity and voluntary protection of the larynx during swallowing.

This study demonstrates the effectiveness of swallowing in patients who were enrolled in voice, speech, and swallowing rehabilitation after undergoing a partial or total glossectomy. An increase in oral transit time was detected in all patients. Only 2 of the 10 patients who underwent a total glossectomy had persistent asymptomatic aspiration.