There are two types of mandibulectomy:
- Marginal mandibulectomy: It involves only the removal of the cancerous area. There is no need for reconstructive surgery because a majority of the jaw is left.
- Segmental mandibulectomy: It involves the removal of the entire jaw. The jaw needs reconstruction after the procedure. For reconstruction, the bone from the leg, back, arm, or hip is taken to make a new jaw.
Marginal mandibulectomy should be avoided when:
- The surgeon is not sure how much the cancer has invaded the bone.
- The patient has uncorrected coagulopathy (impaired blood clotting).
- The patient has heart disease.
When is marginal mandibulectomy indicated?
Marginal mandibulectomy is indicated in the following conditions:
What are the risks of marginal mandibulectomy?
Mandibulectomy isn’t short of risks and possible side effects. Some of the most common risks and possible side effects include:
What to expect during a marginal mandibulectomy?
Before the procedure
You will be given specific instructions regarding what to do before the surgery. Some of the instructions include:
- You should not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the surgery.
- Avoid using blood thinners, such as Warfarin or Aspirin, a week before the surgery.
- Refrain from smoking before the procedure.
You can also expect the following things:
- Taking photographs of your face for reconstruction
- Undergoing an angiogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scan
- Some of your teeth may be extracted during the procedure
- Your surgeon will detail the procedure during an appointment
- You should seek advice from the physician regarding lifestyle modifications
During the procedure
- Making an incision at the affected side of the lower lip or cheek
- Removing the tumor and the surrounding soft tissues
- Preserving the inferior border of the jawline to retain the bone strength for chewing
- Closing the incisions
After the procedure
You can expect the following after the surgery:
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THANC Foundation. Mandibulectomy. https://thancguide.org/cancer-basics/treatments/surgery/ablative/mandibulectomy/
OncoLink. Surgical Procedures: Mandibulectomy. https://www.oncolink.org/cancers/head-and-neck/treatments/surgical-treatments/mandibulectomy