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Swelling at Surgery site

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2007

Hello..I am new to this site, it has taken me a while to find a support site. I have been out of Rad and Chemo for 6 weeks now, I still have a peg as the new half tongue is still not working properly, but my question is about the swelling under my chin and on my neck. I have been told it is normal and to massage it a few times a day, but sometimes it is so bad I have a bit of trouble breathing properly. Anyone else experience this. As far as all my other questions go some of them have been answered by just browsing the site.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

margiel: I too have had half of my tongue replaced, along with removal of some lymph nodes from right side of neck. Congratulations for getting through all of it!

To answer your question, I had surg in Oct of 05 and chemo and rads in early 06. Along with the chemo and rads I had physical therapy, and then had more PT more recently.

I too retain a peg. And, yes, I have some residual swelling, mine mostly along jaw line and cheek. Massage was attempted, but it has more recently been suggested to me that this radiation scarring of the tissue and may not go away.

It is true that much swelling disppeared over time, however, and that which remains is not so much a burden to me.

If you are having problems breathing, however, that are caused directly from the swelling rather than from, say, a buildup of phglegm, then you need to advise your doctors of this.

Not breathing is NOT an option :). In fact, letting them know of this problem should get you a place at the front of the line in the ER, if you go that route.

Good luck with this, and please advise as to what the decision turns out to be!

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2007

Thank you for your reply. I somehow had this thought that the day after Rad and Chemo finished I would wake up the next morning and all would be back to normal but after browsing this site, I will have to readjust that thought, I have lost 10kilos and as I was only 54kilos to start with, it looks like the peg stays in until I gain weight. I am still being seen each week at the Hospital where I had surgery and treatment and they are aware of the swelling and the oncologist says it is a result of radiation, they are pretty thorough with monitoring everything. I have also had Physiotherapy and will continue to have it for a while yet. I guess I just have to be a patient patient. Thanks so much for the reply. It is good to know that I can access such a great site for some info. There are no such sites, at least that I can find, here in Australia.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2007

I share your feeling about hoping to be normal as soon as rads and chemo are finished. However, the healing process is a slow process. Nourishment plays an important role in healing. While the peg can be an inconvenience, it truly is a life saver.
I too have swelling in my neck due to rads. However, it has slowly improved and yours will also. All the best for your recovery...it will get better. -Steve

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