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Facial Swelling

Irishgypsie's picture
Irishgypsie
Posts: 331
Joined: May 2010

Hello, Everyone, Almost 2 weeks now post treatment. Doctors say things are healing well. Able to get some water down; but still not taking shakes or anything. I have question about facial swelling and dry skin. Throughout treatment my right side of made face got swollen and my face got really dry. The swelling has gone down some. Was wondering if anyone had similar experience and if it got better?

Charles

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

This is common Charles, My lower chin is very swollen, it is caused by the radiation your recieved and will continue, I was told by the Doctor it either goes down, comes back or stays like this, they also told me to massage and rub the area to break the fluids down, if anyone wants to jump in....Please, I wish mine would go down, it travels, one side to the other. Hope it was alittle help. Dennis. P.S I've noticed my teeth aching? Never had a problem..

MarineE5
Posts: 757
Joined: Dec 2005

Good Morning Charles,

Yes, I am pretty sure I can say we all have had this issue. My best example to what we go through would be to think of it this way.

If you and anyone else has taken a HotDog and Microwaved it, you can see that the Microwaves heat up the hotdog and make it swell. This is due to the fluid in the dog, much like our face and necks. The neck swells after the continued periods of being hit with the radiation. Our necks swell inside as well as outside. So, your ablility to swallow will be compromised until the swelling subsides.

First I would suggest to find a lotion to put on your face and neck to help with the dryness. I used Keri lotion and when I applied it, I made small circular motions that were shown to me by the Cancer physical therapist. This helped me soften my skin on my face and neck, which started to move the fluids that built up in the lymphnode system. I had posted on another board some time ago, part of the gentle massage that we can do each day to move the fluid. I will search for it and post it here once I find it.

Are you sleeping flat or in a slight incline. You may want to sleep in a slight incline until the swelling issue fades.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8095
Joined: Sep 2009

Same as above Charles....

Also, if you haven't already, more than likely you will soon...."the Turkey Neck". A lot of swelling and puffiness under your chin. This is mainly due to lack of lymphatic drainage. During radiation they drainage canals take a big hit. This backs up the flow causing the swelling.

Throguh gentle massage and a long period of time it'll usually go down. Mine seemed to start a few weeks after my last rads. It is still present a little after a year, but not nearly as much. It's barely noticeable now. Eventually through time and massage, the paths will reopen or establish new routes.

I'm sure the swelling in your face is more than likely related.

Best,
John

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey Charles,

I had the swelling too and my wife freaked out and made me go to the ent. All the while I was telling her what it was but she didn't care. Doc said edema(swelling). Just massage it and it will go down.

Best,
Steve

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

A friend mentioned to me that when he first saw me which was about two month's post treatment that I had a moon face lol. Now he said it is almost back to normal. However,
I have a swollen neck under my jaw. It looks so fat. Thank God for this site or I would have panicked. I alway's come on here when I need an answer! Plus I hate to bother the Dr's for nothing. Now I will ask if they can recommend someone for a massage. They will probably look at me like I am nut's!

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Chaz,

Had the swelling and turkey neck thing fro a few months. I didn't realize how much till I saw some photos from Christmas back home to see how terrible I looked with the 'Turkus Neckus'. It goes away. Use non- soap cleanser for the face.

Take a few snaps for your memoir.

Scam

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8095
Joined: Sep 2009

You can see on my photo the Turkey Neck....it's went down considerably since this photo, I'll have to take a new one soon.

JG

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1533
Joined: Jan 2010

It's taken about nine weeks for the facial swelling to really kick in for me. I wake up every morning with edema of the chin and neck. Figured it was my lymphatic system trying to come back to life, post radiation burning. The massage techniques described here really do help.

deb

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

So what you are telling me is this sweling will go down eventually, And I won;t look like Mr. Potato Head's Double, thank you!!!!!It moves. and under my chin is very tight, and my jaw swells, can some one tell me why this waits so long after radiation treatment, i called the radiolgist and they told me if it bothered me they would send me to a lympnomic specialist...whats this all about?.What, I need another doctor????LOL, I am massaging the area, hot or cold compresses...would this help, or is lotion good enough. thanks everyone..Dennis

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8095
Joined: Sep 2009

Dennis,

While I'm sure massage may help in some cases, unfortunately I think the main variable is time. I know I massaged the area and still had it pretty consistantly. Eventually mine has gone down, not completely, but I think it's still reducing and it's been over a year post radiation for me.

Not sure why the time lag, I didn't really seem to notice it for several weeks after the radiation was complete. It might have been increasing along the way. Or just the fact that I was concentrating more on surviving radiation and chemo.

I just noticed one morning that my throat was ballooned up and someone here welcomed me to the "Turkey Neck Club".....

John

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8095
Joined: Sep 2009

Dennis, you can see in this photo that the swelling under my chin has went down alot compared to the other photo that I had up....

John

chris731's picture
chris731
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2010

I'm about 5 months out post and I still look like Mr. Potatoe head, I hate it. Doc says it might go away in time, it might not. It's uncomfortable I know that much and having radical neck surgery didn't help with my current comfort level. I've been messaging it every day, hoping it will help break up the fluid and it will go away at some point in time. Until then I stay away from getting my photo taken.

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

As the system has been disturbed and interrupted, the lymph has to form new channels to find a way out.

There are qualified massage therapists that do 'Lymphatic Drainage' massage. They stimulate all parts of the system to get things moving.

Might be worth tracking one down.

Scam

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5843
Joined: Apr 2009

Same here right after treatment had a lot of swelling and very dry skin, face was painful to the touch for quite a few weeks after treatment stopped.

Hondo

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