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What is the role of reconstructive surgery in oral cancer?

Some people with oral cancer may need to have plastic or reconstructive surgery to rebuild the bones or tissues of the mouth. Research has led to many advances in the way bones and tissues can be rebuilt.

Some people may need dental implants. Or they may need to have grafts (tissue moved from another part of the body). Skin, muscle, and bone can be moved to the mouth from the chest, arm, or leg. The plastic surgeon uses this tissue for repair.

If you're thinking about reconstruction, you may wish to consult with a plastic or reconstructive surgeon before your treatment for oral cancer begins. You can have reconstructive surgery at the same time as you have the cancer removed, or you can have it later on. Talk with your doctor about which approach is right for you.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.