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Skull base surgery -Retropharyngeal Node

Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2008

Has anyone had any experience with Retropharyngeal Node resection? It's between the sinus cavity, ear and eye. I've developed this nasty little tumor and it's encroaching my carotid artery.
I was dx with Medullary thyroid cancer 3 1/2 years ago. I've had 4 surgeries including a trache and 2 rounds of radiation, 1 external beam and 1 IMRT. From what I've read, this little bump in the road scares the **** out of me. If any of you have had a "good experience" (that sounded stupid just typing it) I'd like to hear your story.
Good luck all. Tom

Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2008

I posted the original message a month ago in hopes someone had some experience. Obviously Retropharyngeal Node isn't very common for anyone to relate to. Well lets try the story this way.
On 4/23 I have skull base surgery scheduled to remove this lymph node. The tumor is at the intersection of my neck and skull base. The spinal cord, nerves and arteries all merge at that point. The tumor has encased my carotid artery and must be acted upon soon. Without resections the prognosis is no more than 2-3 months before it degrades the artery and I stroke out. The surgery is ridiculously risky but I don't have any choice. The face is pulled away, the jaw broken and moved away and some holes drilled through parts of the face bones to allow access. The carotid artery will have to be bypassed and then ressected with the tumor. If all goes well they put me back together with steel plates and stitch back on my face. Now I'm not looking for sympathy, I've pretty much had my crying spells already and have mostly made peace with this. My question is- Has anyone had a procedure remotely like this and if so, what was the recovery like? Thanks, Tom

denistd's picture
Posts: 578
Joined: Apr 2009

Never have heard of anything like this Tom, appears really complicated. I have had carotid artery surgery for a blocked artery, it's called an endarterectomy, I have a scar about 4 inches long on my neck, they told me the risk was messing with the nerves and a stroke whilst under the knife, it came out fine (was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer three months later. Good luck. Denis

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