(HealthDay News) – For patients with residual or recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma who undergo salvage nasopharyngectomy using a maxillary swing approach, postoperative quality of life is generally good, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Cancer.

Yu Wai Chan, MD, of the University of Hong Kong Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a prospective, longitudinal study of 185 consecutive patients who underwent salvage nasopharyngectomy using a maxillary swing approach for residual or recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, between 2003 and 2011. Quality of life was assessed using a self-reported, health-related quality-of-life questionnaire.

The researchers found that curative resection was achieved in 80% of patients. After surgery, there were no significant changes observed in the mean global health system scores, except after palliative resection requiring postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation. In all patient groups, social functioning scores were the lowest of the 5 functioning scales. Palatal fistula was found to have a significant effect on social eating and weight loss, while osteoradionecrosis caused more pain and nasal discharge and had a severe impact on social life.

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“In conclusion, our current results indicate that the quality of life is good for patients after salvage nasopharyngectomy using the maxillary swing approach,” the authors write. “Attention should be paid to achieving curative resection as much as possible and, at the same time, avoiding complications like trismus, palatal fistula, and osteoradionecrosis after surgery.”

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