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What is it like to have neck surgery (scared)

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

I was recently diagnosed for a squamous cell cancer growing at the back of my neck, at the base of the skull -- a biopsy to remove a tumor there showed that it was invasive. The cancer surgeon I saw today wants to go in and take out the rest of it plus a margin of tissue around it. Right now, he doesn't know how deep it is, but he said that he would be able to freezse tissues and test them during the surgery to make sure he got it all. Is that normal? He also said that I would need to stay at home about a week or more afterwards. Has anyone had surgery at the back of the neck? What is the recovery like? Does it hurt a lot afterwards? I'm also having a MRI to check for metathesis in the brain because of other syptoms I'm having, but that seems so huge, I can't focus on it -- just the neck for now. What was it like for you? what should I expect? I'm feeling scared but my surgeon is definitely not the communicative type. I would love to know what I'm getting in for. Cheers, Susan

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

My surgery was to the front of my neck so my experience may be very different from yours. Because no muscles were cut, I had little pain and minor stiffness for about a week, even though the incision went from under my ear lobe down to just over my collar bone. And that was in 1990, so I'm sure things should be better now. Best of luck with your surgery. Dave

Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi Susan,
Best advice I can give you is to ask plenty of questions. Also, keep and open mind and prepare yourself for just about anything--good and bad. One thing is for sure, and I think everyone else will agree, your life will be different from this point on. And, even with all the side effects and new problems arising, some of us agree that they turn out to be better human beings. I hope all works out for you. Just be brave!

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