Two-year quality of life after free flap reconstruction in tumor-site discrepancy among Taiwanese with moderately advanced oral squamous cell carcinoma
1 Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3 Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung, 807, Taiwan
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:145 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-145Published: 13 July 2012
This study describes 2-year impact on quality of life (QOL) in relation to the anatomical discrepancy among T4a oral cancer patients after free flap reconstruction in Taiwan.
Thirty-two patients who underwent tumor ablation with simultaneous microvascular free flap transfer at 2-year follow-up were recruited. They were divided into six subgroups, according to the resected area, consisting of: (1) buccal/retromolar trigone; (2) cheek; (3) commissure; (4) lip; (5) mandible; and (6) tongue. Functional disturbances and daily activity were analyzed using the Version-1 UW QOL Questionnaire with one more specific category: ‘Drooling’. Kruskal-Wallis rank sums analysis was used to test differences in average QOL scores between these subgroups. Post-hoc analysis was applied to assess influence of dominant categories between subgroups.
The category ‘Pain’ revealed the highest average score and reached significant statistical difference (P = 0.019) among all the categories, however, the category ‘Employment’ averaged the lowest score. Regarding ‘Pain’, there existed a statistical significance (P = 0.0032) between the commissure- and cheek-involved groups, which described the former showed poorer pain quality of life.
The commissure-involved group had the lowest average score, which might imply the worst QOL in our study, especially for the categories ‘Pain’ and ‘Drooling’. This present study of T4a patients was the first carried out in Taiwan implementing the QOL questionnaire, and its results may serve for future reference.