Swallowing and intraoral sensation outcome were investigated prospectively after microvascular free-flap reconstruction. Forty-one patients with a large oral or oropharyngeal carcinoma underwent free-flap surgery usually combined with radiotherapy. The patients completed modified barium swallow, self-rating of swallowing, and 2-point moving discrimination preoperatively and at four time points during the 12-month follow-up period, and a plain chest X-ray one year after operation. Swallowing was impaired with respect to an objective and subjective measure after therapy. Rates for nonsilent and silent aspiration increased during the follow-up. Intraoral sensation deteriorated. Swallowing outcome was not related to sensation. One year after surgery, 86% of the patients ate regular masticated or soft food. Microvascular transfers offer a reasonable option for oral reconstruction. This study does not support the need for sensate flaps. Swallowing problems should be routinely sought and patients rehabilitated during a sufficiently long follow-up with videofluorography regardless of the patient's perception of swallowing.