The spectrum of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures at the National Referral Hospital in Tanzania from 2013 to 2017

Jeremiah Robert Moshy, Karpal Singh Sohal, Shaban D. Shaban, Sira Stanslaus Owibingire, Farid Mutatina Shubi, Arnold A. Mtenga


Background: The scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck. This study aims at reporting on the indications, pattern and types of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures carried out under general anaesthesia in a tertiary referral hospital in Tanzania, in a period of 5 years.
Methods: A retrospective study of operation records of all patients who had undergone oral and maxillofacial surgeries under general anaesthesia at Muhimbili National Hospital from January 2013 to November 2017 was done. Descriptive statistics such as bio-data, indication for surgery and type of surgery were recorded and analysed using the IBM SPSS statistics for windows version 20 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp) software.
Results: A total of 1,110 patients with oral and maxillofacial conditions were managed during the study period. The male to female ratio was 1.1:1, and the mean age of patients was 31.1±17.1 years. The predominant indications for surgery were benign neoplastic conditions (36.8%, n=409), traumatic conditions (22.3%, n=248) and malignant neoplastic conditions (18.4%, n=204). Open reduction and internal fixation (21.0%, n=233) and mandibulectomy (18.3%, n=203) were the most common surgical procedures performed under general anaesthesia.
Conclusions: There is a high need for the government and appropriate authorities to invest in reconstructive surgeries as the most commonly operated individuals are those in productive age, and the ablative surgeries do affect not only their general well-being but also social aspect of life.