Challenges of Rehabilitation Following Ablative Tumour Surgery of Oro-Facial Region in a Developing Economy
Background/Aim: Reconstruction of acquired oro-facial defect and rehabilitation of patients with this condition is a challenging and widely discussed topic in developed nations, but limited reports are available in Africa. The aim of this study was to describe our experience on rehabilitation of patients following ablative tumour surgery of oro-facial origin and to highlight the associated challenges.
Methods: A prospective study was done over a 2-year period using consecutive and consenting patients that were operated upon following a diagnosis of jaw tumour. Information collected included: age; gender; diagnosis; treatment done and outcome as well as the challenges encountered.
Results: A total number of 6 (42.9%) males and 8(57.1%) females with age range of 16 to 65years were studied. Eight mandibulectomies, 3 of which were marginal resections and 6 maxillectomies were performed. Primary reconstruction with non-vascularized bone graft and titanium plates was done in 4(28%) mandibular segmental resection cases only, All the maxillary defects and mandibular marginal defects were rehabilitated with obturator and partial denture respectively and the outcome was satisfactory. Not all the patients demanded for dentures, one of the cases presented with poor denture base foundation and lack of expertise precluded the use of microvascular free flaps.
Conclusion: Most of the patients were satisfied with the treatment outcome. Poor attitude to denture, poor denture base foundation and lack of expertise for microvascular free flap limited rehabilitation.
Key Words: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Maxillectomy, Mandibulectomy.