• nasopharyngeal carcinoma;
  • recurrent;
  • quality of life;
  • nasopharyngectomy;
  • maxillary swing



The objective of this study was to examine the quality of life (QOL) of patients who underwent salvage nasopharyngectomy for residual or recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma and to justify the value of the procedure.


A self-reported, health-related QOL questionnaire was used to assess the QOL of patients after salvage nasopharyngectomy. The effects of potential complications after surgery also were evaluated.


Between 2003 and 2011, 185 patients underwent salvage nasopharyngectomy using the maxillary swing approach. Curative resection was achieved in 80% of patients. There were no significant changes in mean global health system scores after surgery, except after palliative resection requiring postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation. Social functioning scores were the lowest of the 5 functioning scales in all patient groups. Palatal fistula significantly affected social eating and weight loss, and osteoradionecrosis caused more pain and nasal discharge, severely affecting the social life of patients.


The QOL of patients after maxillary swing salvage nasopharyngectomy was good. The current results indicated that attention must be paid to the factors that adversely affect QOL after surgery, such as palliative resection, and complications like trismus, palatal fistula and osteoradionecrosis. Cancer 2012. © 2011 American Cancer Society.