doc said he could PROBABLY save dad's tongue and voicebox but wants to wake dad up out of surgery to

nicki74 Member Posts: 55
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
we went and seen the ENT and the plastic surgeon today, yes it was a nightmare... ENT plans on taking a third of the tongue, jaw and lymphnodes and is optismtic about base of tongue and voicebox... BUT if he looks in there while dad is out, he will wake my father up and ask him if its ok to take voicebox and tongue! no way!! has anyone else heard of a patient who is going thru a 10 hr surgery to be woken up with such a devastating question that he needs to answer under the influence of meds? im there anyone on her who have had this surgery?? these doctors today basically made me feel crazzzzzy! talking about taking the six pack muscle from the stomach and using it to reconstruct the jaw... wayy too much info for one day.. anyone have any advise? thanks again


  • RushFan
    RushFan Member Posts: 224
    Wow. That is a nightmare scenario, I'm sorry you and your father are have to deal with this. I've never heard of being woken up during surgery...and then to have to answer a questions?! I have only had a couple of surgeries, both about two hours each, and I was incoherent when I came out of them. I hope and pray that this can be resolved for both of you before surgery...with no wake up call during the surgery.

    Best to your father,
  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
    Seems Crazy
    "Hello - are you awake? - we're gonna ask you important questions now" No way. I don't see why they can't ask the question now, then see what's what when they're in surgery. Days before I had my open biopsies, my doc asked if it was OK with me for him to take my tonsil if once he was in, he saw it was affected or in peril. There - question asked and answered before I was turned into a drooling fool. Turns out, he DID take the tonsil (which turned out to be disease-free - oh well). There's no telling what I would have said if they'd roused me a half hour into the procedure and asked then about how I wanted to proceed. Glad the surgery seems a more optomistic option now. I do know that at least one person here was going to be using stomach area tissue for reconstruction (but it turned out the tongue was in better shape than they'd expected it to be). Hopefully someone with experience will post soon. take care
  • Glenna M
    Glenna M Member Posts: 1,576
    I can't believe this!!! Anytime I have had surgery I have been given a sheet of post surgery instructions that states NOT to make any serious decisions or sign any important papers until 24 hours post surgery because of the lingering effects of the anesthesia.

    I think I would definitely get a second opinion on this. I have heard of doctors asking a patient to make these decisions prior to surgery but NOT during surgery.

    Hope everything turns out well for your dad and he finds another surgeon.

    Stay strong,
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,034 Member

    I have serious concerns about this Doctor? Is he for real ? If I am correct, you still have some time before the scheduled surgery. I would have to make another appointment and definitely get another opinion at another location. Everybody knows that when you are knocked out during a procedure that you basically will do whatever the Doctors and Nurses ask you to do, such as roll over this way or that. Please stand up and walk this way. We don't remember all this as we are in "twilight sleep".

    I never heard of such a request. Remember, in each class, there are the "A" Students and the "D" Students. Which is this Surgeon?

    Only the Best to You, Your Dad, and Everyone Here
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Second Opinion Needed
    Nicki please try and get a second opinion before you do anything, maybe the doc is right but maybe he is wrong. I wish I would have gotten the second opinion before I did radiation the second time as I might not of had Cancer but got radiation for something I might not of had. It is only now 5 years later I am finding out the truth
  • mswijiknyc
    mswijiknyc Member Posts: 421
    ummm do what now???
    I have heard of using muscles to reconstruct the jaw or neck. With hubby's surgery (over 9 hours radical neck dissection complete laryngectomy) there was a possibility that they would have had to take some muscle from his shoulder or chest to reconstruct part of his neck, called a muscle flap. He didn't need it, but was advised before surgery that may become an option if too much tissue was diseased and cut away. I did some research about his surgery and found that this was true, so I didn't have to look for a second opinion.

    Waking up your dad in the middle of surgery? um NO. Do your homework, and find out what all his surgery could entail. Definitely get a second opinion. If his surgeon had even brought up waking hubby up in the middle of surgery, we would have been out the door before he even finished his sentence. We were advised of everything well beforehand, and he wasn't asked in the middle of things what he did or didn't want.

    Get another doc pronto! The one you have doesn't instill me with confidence AT ALL.
  • ekdennie
    ekdennie Member Posts: 238 Member
    second opinion, third opinion
    I would seek additional opinions! It is not unheard of to use various muscles for reconstruction, but it is plain stupid to wake a patient up to ask him if they can put him back out and take his voice box. you and your dad need to put it in writing that you do not want that to happen. have your dad sign something giving you the right to answer that question for him. talk to your dad, ask him what he wants...then you be HIS advocate! no one will be his advocate, but you. the doctors will do what they feel is is up to you to make sure that they do what your dad requests. by having it in writing, you can have a course of action if they disregard your dad's requests.

    otherwise, wishing you the best of luck that you find a doctor who doesn't say he will wake your dad to ask him.

    you will be in my prayers. so hugs and prayers to/for you tonight!
  • Pumakitty
    Pumakitty Member Posts: 652
    Hi Nicki
    I feel so bad for you. I can not imagine what you are going through. I can not believe what the surgeon wants to do. Please get a second opinion, I plan on taking my dad to a new ENT if anything shows up on his next PET scan. Please know we are here for you and post anytime you need to talk.