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Kerala doctors’ new reconstruction techniques in British medical journal
December 4th 2020

Kerala doctors’ new reconstruction techniques in British medical journal

Kochi: A study containing Innovative Reconstruction Techniques in head and neck surgery developed by a team of Kerala doctors, has been published in a leading British medical journal- The Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery [JPRAS], popularly known as the British Journal of Plastic Surgery in its November 2020 edition. 

The study is authored by a team of surgeons led by Dr Shawn T Joseph and  Dr Jose Tharayil and the team includes, Dr Mihir Mohan, Dr Naveen BS and Dr Adharsh Anand of VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi. 

It describes a simplified reconstruction technique for various defects of head and neck area like tongue, palate, jaw, voice box, windpipe and upper part of the food pipe. The technique uses tissue supplied by blood vessels of neck and facial artery. This happens to be the largest published series of such cases and some of the techniques described in the series for larynx and jaw tumours provide new solutions to defects involving these areas. 

The study mentions that compared to existing microvascular surgery, the new technique reduces surgical time for selected defects of head and neck by at least 4 hours and reduces ICU duration by 2-3 days, thereby bringing down treatment expense by at least 30%.

Since the morbidity of surgery is less, patients who have higher risk for long procedures would find the technique particularly useful. Also, the technique being simpler compared to existing reconstruction, can be used even in resource-limited centres.

JPRAS is the official journal of British Plastic Surgery Association and this study is the largest series of facial artery based islanded myomucosal reconstruction published so far. It is also one of the rare studies in head and neck reconstruction published in JPRAS by doctors from India. After the initial technique was published by the same group of doctors, many cancer institutes in different parts of India have started using the technique.