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Surgical management of an odontogenic cutaneous fistula
  1. Mairéad Sarah Kelly1 and
  2. Dylan J Murray2
  1. 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Craniofacial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dylan J Murray; research{at}


A patient presented to our unit with a long history of a discharging skin infection on his left cheek, which came and went. He had been seen by numerous healthcare practitioners including his general practitioner, general dental practitioner and dermatologist, with no resolution. He was eventually diagnosed with an odontogenic cutaneous fistula (OCF), for which he underwent surgical management. The purpose of the study is to describe the diagnosis and surgical management of an OCF, from initial assessment through to postoperative review and discharge. Following surgical management of the OCF and treatment of the source of infection by dental extraction, the patient is no longer experiencing purulent discharge through his left cheek. The extraoral skin site of drainage at his left cheek has resolved completely, with minimal residual scarring. OCF can be managed by a number of different treatment modalities. The treatment of an OCF by surgical excision is presented.

  • dentistry and oral medicine
  • mouth
  • head and neck surgery
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery

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  • Contributors MSK and DJM have contributed to the manuscript submitted for consideration and have had roles in: conception and design of the work (DJM); data collection (DJM, MSK); data analysis and interpretation (MSK, DJM); drafting the article (MSK); critical revision of the article (MSK, DJM) and final approval of the version to be submitted (MSK, DJM).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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