Craniofacial Bone Tumors: Detection and Surgery

What are craniomaxillofacial bone tumors?

They are formations that originate in the space between the skull, the face and the jaw and their related areas. Those of bony origin, as the word itself says, affect that generous organic area that the individual has in his organism, and there are areas such as the skull, the face and in short the maxillo-mandibular region in which tumors grow through the tissues that form the bony structures or that are related to them, such as mucous membranes or the dental structures themselves, which sometimes derive into tumorous formations. And that is the generic situation of what craniomaxillofacial bone tumors are.

How do technological advances in medicine help in their detection?

First of all, clinical history and clinical examination are the basis of medicine. From there, there is no doubt that new technologies are of great interest. In this sense, panoramic X-rays, ultrasound scans, in short, first the less invasive technologies. After that, we may require the need for scans, magnetic resonance imaging, the use of radioactive isotopes, even much more complex tests, of sum of images, etc… then, with all this, we can approach a diagnostic profile and once this diagnostic profile has been obtained, we can in turn approach to see if it is, for example in the case of tumors, benign or malignant tumors simply by the morphology, by the degree of invasion, which may appear in the images of traditional anatomy.

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What does the intervention of craniomaxillofacial bone tumors consist of?

The intervention depends on the diagnosis in general lines. To intervene malignant tumors it is necessary to perform surgeries that allow a field of good visibility and the best possible access. In the case of benign tumors, one can be a little more cautious and not make very important exposures. Having said that, in tumors that affect the skull and the maxillae, we usually use joint routes, we mobilize the skull and even the face, the neuro-endocranial structures can be displaced and if it is in the mandible, we usually have to take into consideration the cervical structures. We always try to be as traumatic as possible so that the postoperative period is as traumatic as possible.

What is the post-operative period like and what care should be followed after the operation?

The postoperative period depends a little on the approach and on whether it has been necessary to use extraordinary ways of aeration of the patient during the surgical act. Normally everything we operate on from the palate upwards is less painful than what we operate on from the palate downwards and the structures corresponding to the mandible and the cervical region. In addition to atraumatic surgery, the collaboration of anesthesiologists and intensivists is of great help to achieve the greatest comfort. This does not mean that all patients require intensive care, often the recovery rooms return the patient directly to the ward without further requirements.