The following is a summary of “Improving the oral function of patients with upper and lower lip tensor fascia lata slings for patients with flaccid facial nerve palsy,” published in the December 2023 issue of Oncology by Charters, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to determine the factors associated with the loss of tongue-tip sensation and to analyze the changes in sensory function after partial glossectomy for oral tongue cancer (OTC). A total of 64 people who had undergone partial glossectomy for primary oral topography and had been followed up for at least three months were included in the research. In this study, both qualitative and objective tongue sensory assessments of the native tongue tip were carried out. The evaluations that were carried out were qualitative. Several different types of information were acquired, such as information on the pathological stage, surgical reconstruction, and oncologic excision.
The number of patients who reported having loss of tongue-tip sensation was 10, equivalent to 15% of the patient population. As a result of multivariate analysis, it was shown that increasing the depth of resection (DOR) is an independent predictor of the presence of loss of tongue-tip sensation. The risk of increased when it was present, increasing at a threshold DOR of 1.3 cm. In addition, during the qualitative tongue examination, it was discovered that it was associated with a worse subjective quality of life and a lower perceptive speaking performance for the individual.
According to the results of the study, DOR is an important prognostic factor that is necessary for predicting post-treatment performance at the same time. Patients who have a DOR that is elevated, particularly one that is more than 1.3 centimeters, are the ones who are at the most risk of loss of tongue-tip sensation and the morbidity that is associated with their condition. One of the many possible applications of these findings is the prediction of post-operative sensory deficits, another is the control of patient expectations, and still another is the optimization of reconstructive treatments.