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Clinical Profile and Quality of Life Assessment of Oral Cancer Patients Following Nasolabial Flap Reconstruction Surgery


To evaluate the quality of life (QOL) of oral cancer patients who had undergone surgical reconstruction with nasolabial flap. A cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of 1 year at a tertiary care hospital and 128 subjects were included. The subjective assessment of quality of life using The University of Washington QOL Questionnaire including physical, socio-emotional, composite and overall QOL, Objective assessment of functional mouth opening and Nasolabial crease scar assessment using Vancouver scar scale was done. Majority of the subjects, 98.4% were male. Maximum cases were involving the lower gingivobuccal complex and retromolar trigone followed by buccal mucosa. Majority of the tumors were T2, 53.1% followed by T1, 18.8%. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) difference was found in relation to age, tumor size (T1, T2, T3), absence of adjuvant radiation therapy, presence or absence of neck dissection, tumor site; buccal mucosa and lower gingivobuccal complex plus retromolar trigone and intact bone status in physical functional, social-emotional subscores, composite score and overall QOL assessment. Improved mouth opening postoperatively was statistically significant (p < 0.05) in T1 and T2 lesions of buccal mucosa and lower gingivobuccal complex plus retromolar trigone who did not receive radiation and with intact bone status. Majority of the cases, 36.7% had a nasolabial crease scar score 2. Nasolabial flap is a viable option in the reconstruction of small and medium sized oral defects with good quality of life (QOL) outcome and objective outcome as depicted by significantly improved mouth opening. The aesthetic outcome of nasolabial crease scar is good in our study.

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Dr Deepa R. Shetty, M D for statistical analysis of data.

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Correspondence to Rohan Kishor Shetty.

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Shetty, R.K., Pradhan, S., Kannan, R. et al. Clinical Profile and Quality of Life Assessment of Oral Cancer Patients Following Nasolabial Flap Reconstruction Surgery. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 72, 200–207 (2020).

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  • Oral cancer
  • Nasolabial flap reconstruction
  • Quality of life
  • Scar score