Functional fat injection under local anesthesia to treat severe postsurgical dysphagia, a case report

Francesco Ottaviani, Antonio Schindler, Francesco Klinger, Letizia Scarponi, Giovanni Succo, Francesco Mozzanica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In this study, we present the first application of functional fat injection performed under local anesthesia in the treatment of severe dysphagia secondary to head and neck cancer surgery. Methods: Functional fat injection was performed using a transcervical approach. Control of injection depth and site was performed through a transnasal flexible endoscope. The effect of surgery was evaluated through videofluoroscopy (VFS), Fiberendoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS), and Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10). Results: Before the functional fat injection, the patient was dependent on permanent tube feeding; the VFS and FEES revealed a severe impairment of swallowing abilities. The EAT-10 scored 26. Twelve months after surgery, the patient was on oral diet, the VFS demonstrated mild to moderate dysphagia, the FEES demonstrated aspiration only with liquids and the EAT-10 improved. Conclusion: Functional fat injection under local anesthesia could be useful in the treatment of chronic dysphagia in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHead and Neck
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • dysphagia
  • fat injection
  • head and neck cancer
  • local anesthesia
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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