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Patients who have had surgical removal of part or all of the tongue are left with varying degrees of swallowing and speech deficiencies. The extent of resection, mobility of the residual tongue segment, and adequacy of the remaining structures determine the amount and type of deficiency. While communicative impairment and dysphagia commonly are seen in a rehabilitation setting, the problems of the glossectomy patient often are unique. This article reviews the anatomy and physiology of the oral and pharyngeal musculature, discusses the speech and swallowing of the glossectomy patient, and presents nursing considerations for successful rehabilitation.