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Damage to CN XII During Glossectomy

Tiffani Wallace, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S

December 15, 2014

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Question

What muscle or nerve takes over for mobility when a patient undergoes a ¾ glossectomy from cancer and the cranial nerve XII is damaged?

Answer

It depends on where cranial nerve XII was damaged.  Sometimes the person may still have some function because it was only damaged on the one side.  Many times a surgical procedure can be done that crosses over cranial nerves XII and VII to help restore some function.  I have not had a patient have success with that operation.  Typically, once a nerve is completely damaged from cancer or from a glossectomy, we will need to work on compensation.  It is difficult to rehabilitate a nerve once it is completely damaged. 

Tiffani L. Wallace has been an SLP for over 13 years.  She holds her Board Certified Specialty in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  Tiffani enjoys working with patients of all ages, however has a special interest in adults with head and neck cancer.  


tiffani wallace

Tiffani Wallace, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Tiffani L. Wallace has been an SLP for over 13 years.  She holds her Board Certified Specialty in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  Tiffani enjoys working with patients of all ages, however has a special interest in adults with head and neck cancer.   Tiffani is the co-author of the app Dysphagia2Go by SmartyEars.  Tiffani is the administrator and creator of several Facebook dysphagia groups and the author of Dysphagia Ramblings.


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