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School of Medicine


Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery


Background: Transoral robotic and laser surgery is rising in popularity due to the increasing incidence of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) related oropharyngeal cancer. However, adequate exposure of the tongue base remains a major hurdle in many cases. This study introduces a novel surgical technique called the Floor of Mouth Window, which can be used to improve tongue base exposure at the time of transoral surgery. Methods: This is a preclinical anatomic cadaver study. Seven fresh cadavers were used for this study. Exposure of the tongue base was compared between conventional mouth gags – the Feyh-Kastenbauer and McIvor – and our novel procedure, the Floor of Mouth Window. Exposure was compared subjectively using endoscopic and extracorporeal photographs, as well as objective measurements of inter-incisor distance, and oral cavity volume. Results: The exposure achieved by the Floor of Mouth Window technique was superior to the mouth gags. Inter-incisor distance and oral cavity volume measurements were all more favorable with the Floor of Mouth Window. This technique allowed for successful transoral laser tongue base and tonsil resection without the use of gags or scopes. Conclusion: The Floor of Mouth Window is an adjunctive procedure that simply and reliably improved exposure for transoral oropharyngeal surgery in this cadaveric feasibility study. This improved exposure may help increase the adoption of transoral surgery and reduce the number of aborted cases due to anatomic limitations.

Source Citation

Chung, J., Bender-Heine, A., & Lambert, H. W. (2019). Improving exposure for transoral oropharyngeal surgery with the floor of mouth window: a cadaveric feasibility study. Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, 48(1).


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