Ok...about this neck dissection.....

I've been half nervous to even look it up on the internet, but since my ENT seems to have trouble spelling things out, I did....

So....those of you have had one.  Did you have physical therapy?  How long before you were pretty much back to normal?  I know there is going to be a limitation of movement, but how much of you movement did you get back?

I probably have more questions, but those are the top priorities right now.

 

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Comments

  • Barbaraek
    Barbaraek Member Posts: 626
    Phrannie

    no answers from me because we didn't experience it - but I wanted you to know I'm doing overtime on the prayers for you tonight and tomorrow for sure! My arms are reaching out in a big, big, cyberhug!

     

    Barbara

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Hard to answer.........

    I had both sides done the same time I had my surgery. They took [as a precaution] 48 lymph glands on the left and 38 on the right. They did Level II ~V, Level I is under the chin. I was cut ear to ear, but they removed my larynx at the same time, and I never had radiation which can make the skin and muscles harder to work with due to burns. Yes I did have some pain which was always controlled. On the late second and thire I had no pain at all. They kapt asking if I needed meds and I said pain was maybe a 2 at most but more like a one. When they took out the drain tubes is when I felt some pain about 6 but controlled well. Two years later, I do have some tightness and have some trouble turning as much as I did before. Excersizing does not really help so I still do, but I have to take a very mild muscle relaxer and I have all my rotation as before. I never had problems raising my arms up or even over my head, but many do have trouble with this. Why I do not know, may be I just had a better surgeon is my guess. I had stitches on the right side but had to have staples on the left as that is where most all the work was done from that side and of course my stoma in the center. It is really hard to see any scar on the right side but you can see some on the left. I do have photos in my expressions but remember it was to remove my larnyx was the main reason. You have so many nerves and the corroted artery there they do have to cut through and around so much I often wouder why I don't have problems. I will always be numb on my left side from my ear to my chin, but I got all back on the right side. I am very glad they did this because if the cancer was ever to come back it had nothing there to effect or spread it elsewhere. I believe more doctors should do this with throat cancer if they do any surgery there. 

    I never have had any physical therapy for my neck. My neck was good in about a month but most of mine was the stoma I breath through including the slight pain I will always have, as I also have bone spures in my neck on both sides of my spine. Even one that hits my throat as I swallow. With out them and the stoma I think I would not have any pain still. The information on the net is very interesting as I saw it before and many times after my surgery. Just never look up what they do as it can be very grafic. I did look up my removal of the larynx but would not look at the video, it is really gross to see. You will do fine with this. With mine they thought I might have one or two bad ones so they were all checked while I was still in surgery and when I came out I knew that none had cancer, I did not have to wait for results. You know you are always in my thoughts and prayers, you will be fine.

    Bill

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    neck

    P,

    Mine was not a neck dissection but instead was a jugular vein dissection as it was all intertwined.    Mine was not painful it was more discomfort than painful.  No physical therapy and my new normal is okay.  I think my radiation is far more to credit for my neck movement challenges now than prior to cancer.

    I wish you the very best of luck.

    Matt

     

  • jcortney
    jcortney Member Posts: 503
    We are almost exactly alike

    Except that I had three removed.  Ok, the surgery itself was not anyway near as bad as my fears led me to believe. I spent one night in the hospital (Complete with some idiot waking me at 3:00 AM for breathing therapy. I almost took his head off). The next day was a bit blurry as they had me on meds, but after that Advil worked fine. 

    Now, question number 2. If your Doc needs to move the nerve that runs through your neck down to your shoulder, you probably will not be able to lift your arm over shoulder height. Time and pt will help this considerably. Also expect your face and neck (on the surgery side) to be completely numb. Again, time for your body to reroute/wake up pathways will take care of most of it.  Be glad you don't need to shave your face, quite a challenge with no feeling

    Any other questions just ask. I'll check in often tonight and tomorrow in case u need me.

    Joe

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
    jcortney said:

    We are almost exactly alike

    Except that I had three removed.  Ok, the surgery itself was not anyway near as bad as my fears led me to believe. I spent one night in the hospital (Complete with some idiot waking me at 3:00 AM for breathing therapy. I almost took his head off). The next day was a bit blurry as they had me on meds, but after that Advil worked fine. 

    Now, question number 2. If your Doc needs to move the nerve that runs through your neck down to your shoulder, you probably will not be able to lift your arm over shoulder height. Time and pt will help this considerably. Also expect your face and neck (on the surgery side) to be completely numb. Again, time for your body to reroute/wake up pathways will take care of most of it.  Be glad you don't need to shave your face, quite a challenge with no feeling

    Any other questions just ask. I'll check in often tonight and tomorrow in case u need me.

    Joe

    2011

    Mine was same time as 19 hour surgery so hard to say what was what. I will say, after very little PT I had full range of motion, Initially, I could not lift arm on that side to wash my hair but in a very short time using some stretch bands to exercise, I had full range of motion back. It was just a matter of a few weeks. I kept that range of motion til pectoral flap last year and now not so good but doable. 

  • fishmanpa
    fishmanpa Member Posts: 1,227 Member
    Everyone is different

    Hey P,

    Not the answer you want to hear but it's true. It all depends on how extensive the surgery is, what they cut etc. I had my surgery in Feb. of 2013. Other than the immediate after surgery effects I didn't notice limitations right away. I also had my lingual tonsls removed and biopsies and ended up with emergency surgery to stop a bleed 10 days afterwards... ironically the day before I was to have my staples removed. 

    By the time I started treatment a month later, I was developing weakness in my arm and shoulder and lymphedema. I did get some physical therapy while undergoing treatment at JH which included lymph massage. It took about a year but I have full mobility and the lymphedema cleared up in a year's time as well. 

    Now? 2.5 years out I have some physical issues as in pain and what I can only describe as "lock neck". The muscles and tendons in my neck spaz out and it hurts like a mofo! Heat helps as well as massage. The muscles in my shoulder are painful as well. The side where they cut is numb and it feels like my face is made of clay sometimes. The acupuncture was heaven sent but I just can't afford to keep going so I deal. 

    Anyway... one step at a time and deal with what you have to deal with should it come up. 

    Sending positive thoughts and prayers

    "T"

     

     

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    jcortney said:

    We are almost exactly alike

    Except that I had three removed.  Ok, the surgery itself was not anyway near as bad as my fears led me to believe. I spent one night in the hospital (Complete with some idiot waking me at 3:00 AM for breathing therapy. I almost took his head off). The next day was a bit blurry as they had me on meds, but after that Advil worked fine. 

    Now, question number 2. If your Doc needs to move the nerve that runs through your neck down to your shoulder, you probably will not be able to lift your arm over shoulder height. Time and pt will help this considerably. Also expect your face and neck (on the surgery side) to be completely numb. Again, time for your body to reroute/wake up pathways will take care of most of it.  Be glad you don't need to shave your face, quite a challenge with no feeling

    Any other questions just ask. I'll check in often tonight and tomorrow in case u need me.

    Joe

    Yes Joe........

    Shaving is still something for me as one side is numb and always will be. Headphones was the strangest feeling ever. Both sides were numb and I had to use headphones because the other person complained the TV was loud at 6 at night. I could barely hear it. I could not feel if the headphones were on as I could not feel my ears.........

    Bill

  • swopoe
    swopoe Member Posts: 492
    Neck dissection

    My husband had one last week...1 week ago exactly. He had a partial neck dissection on the right side. The doctor removed all nodes in sections I- IV. None of the nerves, etc were touched. He is having the stitches removed tomorrow, and he was in the hospital for one night. As for how he feels, he has full range of motion with his right arm, but his neck is still pretty stiff. The right side of his face and neck is still kind of swollen. But he isnt in much pain anymore (maybe a 2 on the pain scale is what he says) and he only takes his prescribed pain meds before bed. He has been doing neck stretches which are helping somewhat. So all in all not bad for a week out. One other thing is that he came home with a drain on the right side of his neck and he said that hurt the most. When he got that taken out, he felt much better.

    Wishing you all the best, Phrannie.

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    swopoe said:

    Neck dissection

    My husband had one last week...1 week ago exactly. He had a partial neck dissection on the right side. The doctor removed all nodes in sections I- IV. None of the nerves, etc were touched. He is having the stitches removed tomorrow, and he was in the hospital for one night. As for how he feels, he has full range of motion with his right arm, but his neck is still pretty stiff. The right side of his face and neck is still kind of swollen. But he isnt in much pain anymore (maybe a 2 on the pain scale is what he says) and he only takes his prescribed pain meds before bed. He has been doing neck stretches which are helping somewhat. So all in all not bad for a week out. One other thing is that he came home with a drain on the right side of his neck and he said that hurt the most. When he got that taken out, he felt much better.

    Wishing you all the best, Phrannie.

    Did he have to do anything with the drain?

    I'm not very nursey....and especially, not with myself....if it can just hang there till somebody takes it out, I'll be fine, but if I have to do something with it....yikes.

    p

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    Everybody's talking about these levels....

    my Dr. hasn't said a word about "levels" (so what's new, huh?...and I didn't have enough knowledge to even ask).....I have NO idea what all he's going to do.

    p

     

  • Nelson Ong
    Nelson Ong Member Posts: 5

    Everybody's talking about these levels....

    my Dr. hasn't said a word about "levels" (so what's new, huh?...and I didn't have enough knowledge to even ask).....I have NO idea what all he's going to do.

    p

     

    Hi hi

    Everyone here reacts differently. I  my left mandibular tumors surgery in Jan 2013 n followed by RT n chemo. My left fibula replaced  left jaw n 15 hours surgery. I hv to thank God for he whole episode which was quite smooth sailing till to date. Of course I hv the side effects etc but doable. Alot of exercise needed especially neck stretching, as for me mouth stretching as well as i  a "new" left jaw ... Lol... My surgery side will be numb forever and u need to massage often. I did it for 3-4 months. Till todate, every morning I woke up, I need to stretch my neck... Abt 30 seconds wl do n keep on exercising... Which I hit the gym n also runs. So far I hv completed 4 marathons n am still running. My left fibula bone which I lost doesn't affect me either. i'm not even on any medication after I was discharged so I felt it's the mind up there playing tricks. Even my wife, who was my caregiver during n after treatment was surprised that I am able to take  of myself during the RT n chemo periods. Yes, my left face only swell on the 2nd day after surgery and it eased off  quite quickly n when I discharged on the 10th day, it has only little swell. Doctors will tell you the worst scenario and I can recalled he told me that my left face will balloon 3 times.  will eps you in my prayers list. Take care n cheers.

     

  • swopoe
    swopoe Member Posts: 492

    Did he have to do anything with the drain?

    I'm not very nursey....and especially, not with myself....if it can just hang there till somebody takes it out, I'll be fine, but if I have to do something with it....yikes.

    p

    Drain

    he had to empty it twice a day and record the amount. It wasn't a big deal until one tine he did it wrong and shot the contents across the room. That gave us a good laugh.

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804

    Everybody's talking about these levels....

    my Dr. hasn't said a word about "levels" (so what's new, huh?...and I didn't have enough knowledge to even ask).....I have NO idea what all he's going to do.

    p

     

    Levels mean where they are

    There is locations called levels, they are I ~ VI
    I had II - V done, VI was pritty much removed with my larynx but they never said anything about it. Lever I is where I am numb on the left side.

     

    image

  • jcortney
    jcortney Member Posts: 503
    FOLKS PLEASE READ!!!!

    We are getting way far afield of what Phrannie is about to go though.  It's a relatively simple 2 node neck dissection (probably done a 100 times a week) and a POSSIBLE biopsy if the doc can see anything to stick a needle in.  Remember 2.7 is a VERY LOW uptake.  Chances are he will see nothing to check out.

    What's not helping (in my opinion) is ramblings about what happened after a 19 hour surgery, or surgeries that are not even closely related to minor neck dissection.  We all want to talk about our condition and all the things that were done, but it's just not appropriate here where all you will accomplish is to add data that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the upcoming procedure. This stuff would scare the bazzous out of me if it was my procedure that was about to happen.

    We all love Phrannie and want to wish her the best, can we please just do that and stop the melodrama that doesn't pertain to what she is going though.

    Again, Just my opinion but read these posts and see if you don't agree.

    Joe

  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
    jcortney said:

    FOLKS PLEASE READ!!!!

    We are getting way far afield of what Phrannie is about to go though.  It's a relatively simple 2 node neck dissection (probably done a 100 times a week) and a POSSIBLE biopsy if the doc can see anything to stick a needle in.  Remember 2.7 is a VERY LOW uptake.  Chances are he will see nothing to check out.

    What's not helping (in my opinion) is ramblings about what happened after a 19 hour surgery, or surgeries that are not even closely related to minor neck dissection.  We all want to talk about our condition and all the things that were done, but it's just not appropriate here where all you will accomplish is to add data that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the upcoming procedure. This stuff would scare the bazzous out of me if it was my procedure that was about to happen.

    We all love Phrannie and want to wish her the best, can we please just do that and stop the melodrama that doesn't pertain to what she is going though.

    Again, Just my opinion but read these posts and see if you don't agree.

    Joe

    P, I agree w/Joe

    I think that things will go smoothly, and you are so darn active that nothings going to keep you down for long.  Take a breath, know your team has this.  I know we all have you tucked deep within our pockets lady.  Hugs sent !  Katie

  • staceya
    staceya Member Posts: 720

    P, I agree w/Joe

    I think that things will go smoothly, and you are so darn active that nothings going to keep you down for long.  Take a breath, know your team has this.  I know we all have you tucked deep within our pockets lady.  Hugs sent !  Katie

    Thinking of you

    Hello there..

    You are in my thoughts. If you do have a drain going home, call me. 

    Hugs hugs hugs

  • joannaw81
    joannaw81 Member Posts: 185 Member
    everyone is different

    Hi,

    My mom had 2 neck dissections, each side was approx. 1.5 years apart. It wasn't bad at all except is looked really bad. The second time she had it the jagural vein was removed becasue cancer was wrapped around it. she had some pain and was not able to lift her hand all the way up however that passed with time and she is now fine. You will be ok, I promise. If anythign radiation is much worse in my opinion. Good luck to you!

  • bebo12249
    bebo12249 Member Posts: 181 Member
    I had a dissection to remove

    I had a dissection to remove about 20 nodes and a tonsillectomy. The procedure was 3 months ago and the only ill effect is that I am in PT for my left arm. I cannot move it above my head but they think the range of motion will return. Otherwise, the dissection was uneventful.

  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
    jcortney said:

    FOLKS PLEASE READ!!!!

    We are getting way far afield of what Phrannie is about to go though.  It's a relatively simple 2 node neck dissection (probably done a 100 times a week) and a POSSIBLE biopsy if the doc can see anything to stick a needle in.  Remember 2.7 is a VERY LOW uptake.  Chances are he will see nothing to check out.

    What's not helping (in my opinion) is ramblings about what happened after a 19 hour surgery, or surgeries that are not even closely related to minor neck dissection.  We all want to talk about our condition and all the things that were done, but it's just not appropriate here where all you will accomplish is to add data that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the upcoming procedure. This stuff would scare the bazzous out of me if it was my procedure that was about to happen.

    We all love Phrannie and want to wish her the best, can we please just do that and stop the melodrama that doesn't pertain to what she is going though.

    Again, Just my opinion but read these posts and see if you don't agree.

    Joe

    Agree

    I had a single enlarged node removed.  My ENT was pretty certain that is was cancer based on a PET scan and felt it was best just to remove it instead of doing a needle biopsy. The surgery was easy and painless.  I was in and out of the surgery center in 3 hours including pre and post op.  No tube, no pain, little to no swelling and no obvious scar or lingering effects.  Never even took an advil.  

    John

  • Grandmax4
    Grandmax4 Member Posts: 723
    Best wishes will be with you

    As everyone has mentioned, we're all different in the way we're affected. My surgeon told me, I would not be able to lift my arms above my head...coming out of the "buzz", when he walked in, I raised both arms above my head, and gave him a double wave. 

    The worse part, for me, was the mucus...the James kept me in the hospital until the drains were removed.

    We all love you , phrannie, and will keep you in our prayers...