Maxillofacial surgery also involves treatment of malignant tumors in the mouth, on the face and the neck. This kind of surgery usually involves the removal of the tumor, as well as the lymph nodes in the neck. Surgical approach is through the mouth and the scars on the face and the neck are kept as unobtrusive as possible. If the defect in the mouth or the face is large, tissue is taken elsewhere in the body, and the afferent and efferent blood vessels in the neck are connected using the microscope.
The transplantation of tissue is not only necessary for the treatment of defects due to malignant tumors, but it can also be needed after extensive resections for benign tumors, or when parts of the jaw bone are lost due to trauma, inflammation or necrosis.
Reconstruction of large bone defects are prepared on the basis of a computer simulation, in order to shorten the operation time and strive for a predictable outcome. Usually, an attempt is made to get a good recovery of the anatomy, but also to obtain good function. The repair of bone defects with autologous bone grafts also implies the possibility of placing dental implants, so that even the dentition can be restored later on.
The information listed above is the opinion of the doctors of the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, AZ Sint Jan Bruges, Belgium and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the specialty as a whole.