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healing after neck dissection

sdrice
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2001

I had a neck dissection 4 weeks ago. Can anyone give helpful tips on recovery time. I am having a hard time with the swelling and stiffness.

cherylt
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2001

Hi,
My mom is having the neck dissection in Boston in February. Is there is anything you can tell her
about how she will feel when she wakes up? She is afraid of the tracheotomy & feeding tube.
Thanks,
Cheryl

sweter3
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2000

I found that the biggest thing is to not panic and to relax. If I relaxed, breathing through the tube was easy, if I tensed up it was very difficult.
Tom

lurlb
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi cheryl,
How's your Mom doing after her neck surgery?

I had the surgery almost 1 1/2 years ago & I'm still healing--from all of it--radiation, chemo, etc. It does get better!

tyweb
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2001

I HAD MODIFIED NECK DISSECTION 11 MOS. AGO THEN RADIATION IMPLANTS THE RECOVERY WAS SLOW ,BUT 3 MOS. AGO I RETURNED TO A CAREER IN CONSTRUCTION SO DON'T LOSE FAITH.

tambam's picture
tambam
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2000

Hey! I had one too 2/12 yrs ago!!! As far as for the stiffness....cancer has now afforded you to the wonderful world of massages!! You will need a neck massge alot! I still do/ if I yawn a big one I get a cramp in the left side of my neck. My neck disection was done on the right. However,if they cut your nerves then you will at times have a itch that you can't scratch...that's normal. That is a nerve thing going on. You will always have a stiff neck on whatever side they disected. When you consider the alternative....deal with it cause your here. It is a long slow process but keep the faith it will not seem so bad later. Do neck exercises too. Do this for all the other muscles. Anything I can help with just let me know. I've been there, done that have a closet full of the the t-shirts....Relay for lIfe ones that is..

gcashman
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2001

From my experience the swelling should dissipate in 3-4 months...I used vitamin E to promote healing on the incisions. The stiffness will be long lasting..really tight for 6-12 months depending on what your doing with your neck position. When cleared by the Dr for PT, do your stretches!...head side to side, etc. That will help tremendously. It's been 5 yrs for me and my neck is still tight if I lean my head away from the side of the dissection. You've gone through alot of trauma, give yourself a break and focus on healing.

Radiation will also have it's affects, usually scarring the muscle tissue which adds to the stiffness (can't use any lotions or E salves during radiation treatment). Take care and remember that "every day is a good one, some are better than others". Guy

madison
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2001

It will take a little longer. The majority of my swelling went down in about 6 weeks. But the stiffness stayed for a little longer. It will not be as long as you think. I hope things are going good for you and things will get better gradually. Madison

Kskokko
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2017

I had the neck disection five weeks ago and was getting concerned.    THe posts all tell me this will take months for the swelling and stiffness to go down.

 

 

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CivilMatt
Posts: 4032
Joined: May 2012

Kskokko,

Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry that you are here.

Mine was a jugular vein dissection to remove a pesky lymph gland, my healing was without much fan fair and with limited pain.  Many on here have the whole neck dissection and can probably more relate to you.

A good plan is to start a new thread and introduce yourself and ask your questions. This is one of the oldest threads I have seen brought up, I doubt that any of the members will ever see your post and few will respond.

Matt

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