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Swallowing Dysfunctions Associated with Radical Surgery of the Head and Neck

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(4):602-612. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290210070015.
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One of the serious problems confronting the head and neck surgeon is the interference with the swallowing phenomenon. The significance of this interference has increased with the advance in surgery in this area. When operations on the gullet were not complex and when most of the neoplasms in this area were treated with irradiation, this problem did not arise. However, with the extension of surgical intervention to encompass all of the organs associated with swallowing in massive composite resections, the swallowing act is always modified and in certain specific circumstances seriously compromised. This paper deals with a study of the clinical analysis of the swallowing act in persons who have been obliged to adjust their mechanism as a result of surgery on the organs in the head and neck system.

Physiology  The analysis of the normal swallowing act casts light on the difficulties that arise after surgery on these particular


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