Aug 05, 2013 - 9:36 am
I had a neck dissection 4 weeks ago to remove a tumour from the base of my tongue and removal of lymph glands between below right ear and jaw line. The surgeon gave me a choice of having a repair to the tongue with a section from my chest or the inside of my mouth. I chose inside of my mouth (he said he'd done 27 so far and only 2 failures)
because from my chest it would affect my right arm. It would be stiff and painful. I watercolour and sew so didn't want to damage the nerves in my arm. The op took 9 hours and I was in hospital for 2 weeks. I dont remember a lot the first week but can't remember anything too painful. Once the drainage tube, trache and feed tubes were removed I had a swallow test infront of an xray machine and I had a nearly perfect swallow. I cant eat anything too thick or chunky but manage homemade broths blitzed down to a thick soup, trifle, yogurts, ginger biscuits soaked in tea(yummy) and the general soft foods. So long as I keep my head tipped down I dont choke. The side of mouth where the 'flap' of skin with nerves and blood supply was a little sore and my jaw stiff. Doing mouth exercises I now can almost open my mouth as normal. I have a droop on the right side of my mouth but thats improving with excercise. I rub bio oil into my scar and its helping it to flatten at the ends. This is only my 4th week after op and I feel 99% fit. I have an assessment later this month, I'm fingers crossed that all the cancer has been taken and I wont need further treatment. I had my treatment in the Churchill hospital in Oxford UK. They have trial treatment and are advanced in oral cancers. I've looked on the web and cant find any mention of the 'inside of cheek' anywhere, is this a neww 'discovery'