Dysphasia after TORS and Neck Dissection

stickmanfob Member Posts: 30 Member
edited August 21 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

It’s been a month after TORS and neck dissection and I have a sore jaw, mucus, feels like there is a string in my throat constantly, food gets stuck in throat, etc.

Anyone else have these symptoms? Does it get better or is this my new norm? I haven’t started radiation yet and can’t eat a hot dog. My jaw gets too sore and the bread feels like it gets caught in my throat.

I understand others have it way worse with feeding tubes but wonder if anyone else has gone through this after their surgery as well?


  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,097 Member
    edited August 21 #2

    Stick, check with your care team, and let them know what is going on and get their input because they know your case specifically.

    Aside from that, I would say this is a normal circumstance and it requires patience and time to resolve. You had what I think is a pretty involved surgery and the lymph nodes also. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

    I went back and looked at an older posting of yours and at this point, I am a little confused as to what treatment you had in total.

    Have you had tonsil surgery and lymph node surgery and radiation and chemo, all of the above or not so, please clarify.

    Other than that it is a matter of healing and recovery and Time.

    You are only a month post-surgery and I would say it is early to expect healing to be completely done and all issues with head and neck to be resolved.

    If you had the whole works of surgery, radiation, and chemo it can take at least 6-8 months or up to a year or more recovery time to feel fully recovered.

    It seems head and neck situations take some time to resolve after treatment.

    Recovery is measured in weeks and months not like a bad cold and in a few days or a week or 3 you are all better again.

    I had a neck dissection with a bit of an involved surgery because the lymph node was not encapsulated in 2019 and I had trouble eating afterward and was on a feeding tube for a little while. Be thankful you can eat and work with it and be patient. Try the baking soda and salt recipes and rinse as much as necessary to try to resolve the stringy feeling you have, it is probably real and thick phlegm or saliva and is involved in your recovery. I will post the recipes below. Possibly check with your care team, maybe you should be seeing a Speech Therapist, I had one assigned to me in all my major situations, they are all things head and neck, swallowing, breathing, saliva, taste, etc. Maybe you may need dilations, I had four of them, again check with your care team on this. I still think it's early in your recovery at a month out and it will take more time.

    I recommend also prayer, it is powerful, comforting, and strengthing. I believe you said earlier you trusted in him so put it in his hands and Just Stand and let God work. Let God Work. Let Go and Let God. God’s mercies are new every morning.

    Take care, God Bless-Russ

    Speech Therapist Video

    Just Stand--

    Salt and Baking Soda Rinse Recipes

    Soda and Salt Mouth Rinse

    1/4 teaspoon baking soda

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    1 cup of warm water

    Mix well until salt dissolves. Rinse your mouth gently, being careful not to swallow the mixture. Follow this with a plain water rinse to clean out any remaining salt or soda.

    Soda Mouth Rinse: A Good Rinse for Before You Eat

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 cup of warm water

    Mix well to dissolve the baking soda. This is a good rinse to use before and after a meal because it may soothe any mucositis pain you have, making it easier for you to eat well. Swish and spit, but don't swallow this mixture.

    Saltwater Mouth Rinse

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 cup of warm water

    Mix well to dissolve the salt. This saltwater rinse is close to the natural chemistry of your own saliva. This may make mouth sores feel better. Rinse well with plain water to remove excess salt.

    Salt and Soda Rinse for Gummy Mouth

    Some chemotherapy drugs can increase the acidity in your mouth, leading to thick saliva that can be very annoying. This rinse works well for "gummy mouth."

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons baking soda

    4 cups of warm water

    This rinse will help to neutralize the acid in your mouth and will help dissolve or loosen thick, gummy saliva. Don't drink it, just rinse and spit it out.