We propose the "CAT concept", a new theory for surgical reconstruction after oncological segmental mandibulectomy. The essence of the theory is to reconstruct three reference points on the mandible - "C" (condylar head) "A" (mandibular angle) and "T" - necessary and sufficient for its surgical reconstruction. An anthropometric analysis of the mandible of ten preserved human cadavers showed that the mandibular contour can be made merely 3 to 7 mm smaller than the original when the CAT concept is adopted, suggesting that the concept sufficiently satisfies the condition for surgical reconstruction of the mandible. A review of our 45 clinical cases of mandibular reconstruction after oncological ablation demonstrated a positive trend between the number of reconstructed or non-resected reference points of the CAT concept and the esthetic outcome of each patient (Fisher's exact test, p<0.01), suggesting that the concept satisfies the necessary condition. Given these results, we concluded that the CAT concept is a highly practical theory for the surgical reconstruction of segmental mandibular defects.
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