The morbidity associated with total glossectomy for treatment of base of tongue carcinomas provides the impetus to investigate techniques to salvage the uninvolved normal anterior tongue. This report describes a method of reinnervation of the anterior tongue using a hypoglossal‐lingual transfer. In Cynomologous monkeys, unilateral transfers with and without a subsequent muscle fillet resulted in reinnervation from the base to the tip of the tongue. It is proposed that hypoglossal‐lingual nerve transfers be considered to allow sparing and return of function to the anterior tongue in conjunction with a resection of the tongue base. Additional experiments confirmed that the base of the tongue, like other midline muscles, has bilateral and separate innervation. The presence of a physiological lingual‐hypoglossal reflex in the normal animal was documented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalThe Laryngoscope
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


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