At the Regional Unit, we aim for a holistic approach to patient care which involves the family members and several other members of the head and neck cancer team
Following surgery especially to the oral cavity, many patients develop problems with chewing mainly due to the loss of partys of the jaw and the removal of teeth. Many patients find wearing dentures impossible and for some patients dental implants are required. Some patients having part of their top jaw removed (maxillectomy) require a special type of denture called an obturator which has a special bung on it which closes off the hole in the roof of the mouth created by the surgery. All aspects of Oral rehabilitation are led by Mr Chris Butterworth our specialist consultant.
Our dedicated physiotherpay team work very closely with patients following surgery for head and neck cancer. Shoulder problems can occur after neck surgery and many patients also have problems opening their mouth wide - our physiotherapists work to help improve muscle functions to improve the quality of life for our patients.
Speech and language therapy / Swallowing rehabilitation
Speech and language therapy is another exremely important facet of our multi-disciplinary team as many patients have problems with both speech and swalllowing after treatment for head and neck cancer. Our speech and language specialists will help in retraining patients to swallow in a different way and help with excercises designed to strengthen the tongue which may in turn assist in improved speech. Occasionally, prosthetic speech appliances can be made to improve speech following surgery on the soft palate area.