Quality of life and problems associated with obturators of patients with maxillectomies

Head Face Med. 2018 Jan 5;14(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s13005-017-0160-2.


Background: Maxillary defects predispose patients to different undesirable effects. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) of patients with maxillary defects (acquired/congenital) wearing obturators.

Methods: The study comprised 30 patients aged between 16 and 78 years. Interviews were conducted to collect information pertaining to patients; sociodemographic, self-reported function of obturator using Obturator Functioning Scale (OFS), self-evaluation of general health using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), radiotherapy treatment, salivary gland removal, reconstructive surgery, neck dissection and length of time obturators were worn. Clinical examination included type of maxillectomy, Aramany classification of the defect, and evaluation of obturator function using the Kapur retention and stability scoring system.

Result: Quality of life was affected significantly by marital status (P = 0.026). Married patients had better quality of life 61.3%, followed by divorced patients 38.8%, widowed 37.3% and the least QoL was detected in single patients 36.5%. Significant association between the type of maxillectomy and QoL was detected (P = 0.002). Retention of obturator prosthesis had a highly significant association with QoL (P < 0.001). Type of maxillectomy had a significant relation with obturator retention (P = 0.005). Stability had a significant correlation with QoL (P = 0.022). Obturator wearers who were treated with radiotherapy had lower QoL than those who were not treated with radiotherapy.

Conclusion: Rehabilitation of patients with maxillary defects using obturator prosthesis is an appropriate and not invasive treatment modality. Results support that good obturators contribute to a better life quality.

Keywords: Maxillectomy; Obturator functioning scale; Obturators; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxilla / surgery
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / mortality
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Maxillofacial Prosthesis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Palatal Obturators*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surgical Flaps / transplantation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult