Swallowing disorders following free jejunal flap reconstruction of circumferential pharyngeal defect: Does Botox help?

Velda Chow (Corresponding), Jimmy Chan, Ivy Cheng, Karen Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ObjectivesFree jejunal flap for circumferential pharyngeal reconstruction is associated with late-onset dysphagia, regurgitation and prolonged transit time. This study aims to assess the feasibility and efficacy of Botulinum toxin A (Botox) in alleviating such swallowing dysfunction.Materials and methodsTwenty-six consecutive patients underwent free jejunal flap for circumferential pharyngeal reconstruction between January 2012 and December 2018. Outcomes were compared at 6, 12 and 24 months.ResultsIn the non-Botox group (n = 13), video-fluoroscopic and manometry studies demonstrated asynchronous contractions and retrograde propulsion. All patients complained of nasal regurgitation on thin fluids at 6, 12 and 24 months. Bolus residue accumulation along jejunal mucosal folds resulted in prolonged transit time. In the Botox group (n = 13), amplitude of asynchronous contractions were lower: 25.4 mmHg vs. 52.1 mmHg (p = 0.037) for thin fluids at 12 months. Three patients complained of nasal regurgitation on thin fluids at 6 months. All 3 were asymptomatic at 12 months. Transit time was shortened overall. Functional Oral Intake Scale was higher. MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory global (72.5% vs 45.7%, p = 0.003) and functional (62.0% vs 40.6%, p = 0.012) subscales were significantly improved at 24 months.ConclusionBotox safely and effectively alleviates swallowing dysfunction associated with free jejunal flap for circumferential pharyngeal reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Oncology
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020

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