In the last six years, anterior mandibulotomy was used to approach tumours of the oropharynx and oral cavity in 39 cases. Twenty-six of these had primary lesions in the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. Eight cases had lesions in the base tongue, three in the cheek, and two in the tonsil. Twenty-six cases had T3 tumours, nine had T2 lesions, and four had T4 tumours. Twenty-five patients received post-operative radiotherapy. In 16 cases the mandibulotomy was combined with a marginal mandibulectomy. In 23 cases reconstruction was carried out using a pectoralis major myocutaneous flap. Adequate margins on histopathology obtained in all but eight patients. Bone-related complications occurred in only three patients, all of whom were previously irradiated. Thus the anterior mandibulotomy provides excellent exposure for oral and oropharyngeal tumours, with low complication rate, and avoidance of segmental mandibulectomy.