Intraoperative Ultrasound in Oral Tongue Cancer Resection: Feasibility Study and Early Outcomes

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The current standard of care in oral tongue cancer surgery is complete resection with a target of 5-mm microscopic clearance at all margins on final pathologic review. While current methods of resection are often successful at determining the mucosal margins of the lesion, they may be limited when attempting to achieve an adequate deep margin. A number of previous studies suggested that ultrasound is superior to manual palpation and other imaging modalities (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) at demarcating the margins of tongue lesions. Recent clinical reports of the intraoperative use of this modality have used an invasive method to mark the proposed deep resection margin. In this communication, we report our initial experience with the use of intraoperative ultrasound as an adjunct to oral tongue cancer surgery without the use of an invasive method to mark the deep resection margin.

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