Reconstructive Surgery

Advances in reconstructive surgery over the last few decades has revolutionized one stage resection and restoration of not only form but function of the organ resected. For instance, in the past, advanced resection of an oral cancer would be associated with a long drawn healing process which would entail prolonged hospital stay with its attendant costs. Today, with reconstructive options, a one stage surgery with a 10 day hospitalization can lead to successful cancer control as well as speedy recovery of oral functions and an acceptable restoration of the facial contour. Microvascular free flaps are an important addition to the armamentarium of a reconstructive surgery that permits one stage transfer of composite tissue to a site far away from the site of origin without overt donor site deficit. In this era of organ preservation by chemo radiation, reconstructive surgery has emerged as an important backup to permit extensive resection of recurrent tumors in a devitalized surgical bed. It has allowed the transfer of fresh vascularised tissue to permit early healing in an area that in the past was associated with delayed healing which led to wound breakdown and fistula formation. Today restoration of form and function along with appropriate reconstructive technique is considered to be an integral part of modern cancer surgery .