Home / News / For the first time in Armenia, the tongue was completely restored after excision of the tumor


For the first time in Armenia, the tongue was completely restored after excision of the tumor

11 May 2020 | News | Head and neck surgery | Aram G. Badalyan

Another complicated surgery was performed at Nairi MC.

The patient is 50-year-old male who had been diagnosed with advanced tongue cancer. The entire tongue was removed together with the tumor, afterwards the doctors  managed to store the tongue completely with a patch of dermal and muscular tissue which were obtained from the lateral surface of the chest and provided with blood vessels and nerves.

The uniqueness of this surgery, which has been performed in Armenia for the first time, is that it was possible to restore not only the structure of the tongue, but also its mobility. It was realized by connecting dermal and muscular patch nerves with the preserved nerves of the tongue. The surgery lasted 16 hours.

The team of the surgeons included also head and neck oncologist (Aram Badalyan), microsurgeons (Irina Rebrikova, Alexander Mordovsky) and maxillofacial surgeons (Arsen Shaljyan, Karen Vardanyan). They faced two major problems: the first was to remove the tumor in the most radical way to prevent its recurrence, and the second was to restore the structure and function of the tongue (swallowing, speech). In general, surgical excision of tumors around the face is often accompanied by severe aesthetic and functional abnormalities, as the primary problem that the surgeon solves is the complete and radical excision of the tumor.

Thus, very often, the surgeon has to break the principles of not damaging and preservation of the organ. However, the loss of functions of vital importance can have serious consequences for the patient, such as loss of swallowing and speech functions in case of tongue defects.

At Nairi Medical Center, such complicated reconstructive surgeries are performed in one stage simultaneously with the excision of the tumor. As a result of this surgery, a significant step was taken in the battle against the tumor, the vital functions of the tongue were preserved. Nine months after the surgery, no symptoms of recurrence of the disease were found. 

The patient underwent a course of radiation therapy and is under constant observation.

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