What kind of surgery is done to treat mouth cancer?

Various kinds of surgery are performed to treat mouth cancer. A surgeon, for example, may operate to remove a primary tumor, or perform what is called a glossectomy or partial removal of the tongue. If reconstructive surgery is required after the initial procedure to allow the patient to swallow or speak again, doctors may use healthy bone or tissue from other parts of the body to reconstruct the area in the mouth where the cancer was removed.

The first aim of surgery is the remove the tumor. The harmful cells will be cut off as well as some of the surrounding healthy cells. If the tumor is larger, some nearby areas may need to be removed. Reconstructive surgery is often performed after tumor removal to prevent function loss such as eating and talking. Additionally, a more normal appearance can be achieved through reconstructive surgery.

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