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Skull base surgery. 2000; 10(3): 109–117.
PMCID: PMC1656823

Functional Outcomes of the Retromaxillary-Infratemporal Fossa Dissection for Advanced Head and Neck/Skull Base Lesions

Abstract

The retromaxillary-infratemporal fossa (RM-ITF) dissection, using a preauricular incision, was initially popularized for the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders, facial fractures, and orbital tumors. This approach has been expanded for the treatment of advanced head and neck and skull base tumors extending into the infratemporal fossa. We studied prospectively eight consecutive patients requiring a RM-ITF dissection. Pre- and postoperative functional outcomes measured were mastication, speech, swallowing, cranial nerve function, pain, and cosmesis. A significant reduction in pain was noted postoperatively in all patients studied. Limited changes were identified in mastication, speech, swallowing, vision, hearing, or cosmesis postoperatively. The RM-ITF dissection should be considered when resecting advanced head and neck/skull base lesions that extend into this region. We have found minimal morbidity associated with this dissection. This procedure may have a useful place in palliation of patients with incurable pain caused by tumor invasion into the infratemporal fossa.

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Selected References

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