Questions on brothers neck dissection - update

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katenorwood
katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Hey everyone !

I am going to ask those of you with experience with staples after surgery what to expect for my brother.  I had stitches...so a bit different. 

He read the surgical report to me and it sounds not so good.  He won't hear about the final pathology for a few days yet.  They removed 3 tumors from the left side of his neck, two that were very deep.  One was wrapped around the carotid artery.  The doctor told him today that things don't look as good as they hoped.  But not using the C-word yet at this point.  They were unable to achieve clear margins on the tumors.  I told him not to fret about this yet.  There are reasons why they left what they couldn't remove. 

He of coarse is very upset.  I'm trying my best to direct him to only positives at this point.  Our older Brother is guiding him through some of the twist and turns with insurance issues, so he if needed could get a second opinion on things.

I feel absolutely helpless at this point.  I wasn't able to be at the hospital with him and his wife.   But maybe just reassurring on the phone is helping ?  I will be going in April for more testing.  The pain is intensifying in my lower chest.  They put me on vicodin for the break through pain until they figure out what is causing it.  Besides the morphine I hope not to be completely unfunctioning. 

Please hold us up with prayer and good thoughts.  And any and all suggestions to make him comfortable at home once they release him would be very welcomed.  Thank you and hugs sent !  Katie    

Comments

  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
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    So sorry

    So sorry that all of this is going on at one time.  I had stitches, not staples.  Once the pathology comes back, I am sure that there will be a plan to attack the cancer.  For the drive home, pillows.  I am the pillow queen at the hospital.  Small pillow under the arm helped with the wiggle and jiggle of the road, same at home.  Don't think that phone calls are not a help.  When I had my first surgery my sister had hip replacement on the same day.  She was ready to cancel her surgery when I got diagnosed with cancer.  She felt that she wasn't much help, the opposite.  Calls were appreciated, helped me to start talking better.  I called us the hip-lip sisters.  Hopefully your pain will be controlled and you will be able to still be clear thinking.

  • lornal
    lornal Member Posts: 428
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    Staples

    Prayer for you and your family.

    I had stitches in 2007.  In January, I had staples.  I had challenged the surgeon to leave nice neat scars like my first neck dissection (My first surgeon recommended the second surgeon, and they are friends.)  I was suprised, they look the same.  And, it wasn't too bad getting them out - but then again, I haven't really felt my neck since 2007.  I also had staples on my arm (they took a skin flap from my arm to rebuild my esophagus).  I was worried about the staples - but they didn't hurt or anything (look ugly and scrary though).

     

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    neck

    Hi Katie,

    It is a delight to see you posting, sorry it is not for more mundane things like coffee and donuts.

    You know I had a Jugular vein dissection and for the life of me I cannot with this radiation addled brain remember stiches, but I think I did have them.

    My scar is barely visible and is in a crease of my neck.  It never hurt much, but my jaw line is still a wee bit numb (2 years 4 months).

    Bye,

    Matt

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    CivilMatt said:

    neck

    Hi Katie,

    It is a delight to see you posting, sorry it is not for more mundane things like coffee and donuts.

    You know I had a Jugular vein dissection and for the life of me I cannot with this radiation addled brain remember stiches, but I think I did have them.

    My scar is barely visible and is in a crease of my neck.  It never hurt much, but my jaw line is still a wee bit numb (2 years 4 months).

    Bye,

    Matt

    staples

    Katy so sorry.I got staples in now. They don't hurt. I will simply go in after a week and get them taken takes 10min.

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
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    Staples and stitches

    I had both staples and stitches with my neck disession. My right isde was stitches and they are hard to find. The left side was staples and the most of the work was done from there 48 removed on the left and 36 on the right. I do have feeling on the right side but the left is numb from center of chin to left ear and they say I won't get it back. I think the use staples because they hold better and are fast to put in. But I was cut from ear to ear also and they removed my larynx and the tumor as well. I think the staples came out easy and less pain.

  • yensid683
    yensid683 Member Posts: 349
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    I had both

    Two dissections, one in October of 12 and another in March of 13.  Both on the same side.  My first experience was with sub-cutaneous sutures, a very fine line scar, no removal as they were absorbable and best of all, no zipper!

    the second one used staples and they were no real trouble at all.  You had to be careful about snagging them on clothing but they were easily removed, actually less touchy than regular stitches, and surprisingly left no scars on the skin that regular sutures would have, so again, no zipper!

    The scar is much more noticeable though, wider and there is more of a deficit in the tissues.  Most people don't see it though, it sits in a skin fold that hides it in plain sight.

    I'm hoping that your brother gets good news and is soon on the road to recovery!

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    I must have had sub q stitches and maybe some surgi glue?

    My scar is barely visible now and it healed well.   Whatever they had to leave in there will still be treatable with radiation and as the R/O's like to say, the rest of the tumor/cancer will melt away.  Holding you both in my thoughts and prayers,

    PJ

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    katie, i was told i had

    katie, i was told i had staples with my surgery but i dont' remember.  i have had them several other places tho including my head and they were no trouble at all.  katie, i'm so sorry you and your bother are going thru so much.  i am keeping you both in my thots and prayers.  please know that we are all there with you both in spirit. 

    God bless you,

    dj

  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    Thank you everyone !

    As my brother was signing out of the hospital, the ENT called him back to his office.  Path was back HPV - unknown primary.  They want him to start rads. next week .  He is having my brother helping with a second opinion on all of this for tx options.  Will  update as he''s further in with everything.  I will also refer him and his wife to our wonderful site here.  As we were dx'd with different cancers most of you will be of great help to them.  God bless you all, and I am so grateful to be able to tell them that this dx is very treatable and beatable because of your experiences !  Hugs sent !  Katie

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    Thank you everyone !

    As my brother was signing out of the hospital, the ENT called him back to his office.  Path was back HPV - unknown primary.  They want him to start rads. next week .  He is having my brother helping with a second opinion on all of this for tx options.  Will  update as he''s further in with everything.  I will also refer him and his wife to our wonderful site here.  As we were dx'd with different cancers most of you will be of great help to them.  God bless you all, and I am so grateful to be able to tell them that this dx is very treatable and beatable because of your experiences !  Hugs sent !  Katie

    Katie

    We welcome your brother and his wife and hope we can be helpful. Prayers for your family.

  • jim and i
    jim and i Member Posts: 1,788 Member
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    Thank you everyone !

    As my brother was signing out of the hospital, the ENT called him back to his office.  Path was back HPV - unknown primary.  They want him to start rads. next week .  He is having my brother helping with a second opinion on all of this for tx options.  Will  update as he''s further in with everything.  I will also refer him and his wife to our wonderful site here.  As we were dx'd with different cancers most of you will be of great help to them.  God bless you all, and I am so grateful to be able to tell them that this dx is very treatable and beatable because of your experiences !  Hugs sent !  Katie

    Prayers

    Prayers for your brother and family. Praying for easy treatment and an NED on follow up scan

    Debbie