n South African Journal of Surgery - Suprahyoid approach to base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma : otolaryngology

Volume 44, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



&lt;I&gt;Objective.&lt;/I&gt; To evaluate the suprahyoid approach to treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue at Groote Schuur Hospital between 1999 and 2004. <BR><I>Design and method.&lt;/I&gt; Retrospective analysis was done of patients with base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma treated using the suprahyoid approach. &lt;BR&gt;&lt;I&gt;Results.&lt;/I&gt; Seventeen patients underwent treatment for base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma utilising the suprahyoid approach. Complete medical records were available for 15 of these patients. The most common presenting symptoms were neck mass (40%) and referred otalgia (33%). Alcohol was a risk factor in more patients (64%) than smoking (47%). Adverse pathological findings were present in less than 50% of patients (involved margins 20%, perineural invasion 40%, vascular invasion 33%). Functional outcome in terms of speech intelligibility was excellent and there were minimal swallowing problems, with most patients using compensatory strategies and dietary modification. There were 2 subsequent deaths (13%) as a result of distant metastasis and a second primary. &lt;BR&gt;&lt;I&gt;Conclusion.&lt;/I&gt; The suprahyoid approach to treatment of base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma provides good exposure, local tumour control and excellent functional outcome.

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