INTRODUCTION: Quality of life (QoL) studies provide information about the impact of disease, the treatment of symptoms, and outcomes following treatment. The present study aims to evaluate the postoperative QoL of patients treated for oral cancer in a Nigerian government tertiary hospital. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective study on consenting patients with oral cancer was undertaken at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria. The subjects completed the University of Washington QoL (UW-QoL) questionnaire one day prior to surgery and postoperatively after 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. RESULTS: Sixty-eight patients with oral cancer were recruited. Of these, 38 were males, and 30 were females (male : female, 1.3 : 1). Twenty-four patients (12 males and 12 females) underwent surgery and completed postoperative QoL assessment using the UW-QoL questionnaire. Preoperative QoL mean score was 2.21, while postoperative mean scores after 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months were 3.67, 3.46, 2.82, and 2.61, respectively. CONCLUSION: An improvement in QoL following surgical treatment for patients with oral cancer was observed. 'Appearance,' 'recreation,' and 'chewing' were identified as the most important determinants of postoperative QoL in patients with oral cancer in our study.