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Thread: Partial glosectomy and nec dissection questions

  1. #1

    Partial glosectomy and nec dissection questions

    Hi to all, I'm new in this forum but have been reading around and find it most useful

    I had a partial glosectomy and neck dissection on the left side two months ago
    Luckily enough did not need chemo or radio
    I'm still dealing with lower lip parestesia, limited shoulder movement and a constant burning sensation on my tongue. If anyone here could relate to this and indicate how long did their simptoms took to go away (if ever will)
    I know everybody is different but some light on this worries will be very much appreciated.
    Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Senior User IndyLou's Avatar
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    I had a partial neck dissection about 4 years ago, as an adjuvant treatment to a targeted therapy and radiation. I'm happy to say that everything was treated successfully.

    Even with a modified or partial dissection, I had some worrisome side effects that didn't go away for months or even longer. I did have a bit of a "droopy lip" on one side of my face, and I had numbness from my ear lobe down to my chin for months. Even today, almost 4 years afterwards, I can feel a numbness in the surgical area.

    As I'm sure you might know, there are a lot of nerves in the vicinity of where your neck dissection occurred. These nerves control your facial gestures, and other movements in your neck and shoulders. Even with care, those nerves become traumatized during surgery, and take a while to heal. A dissection and glosectemy are some serious surgical procedures. I'm sure you'll heal in time, but it'll be slow-going for a while. You might also ask your doctor about rehab, once you begin to heal.

    Best wishes to you.
    Age 52 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED

  3. #3
    Thank you so much for taking time to share your personal journey. I highly appreciate. I started speech therapy and rehab for the neck and shoulder, I guess I can only let things go at their own pace but some days are harder than others as you sure know. Thank you for your words

  4. #4
    Senior User IndyLou's Avatar
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    You're very welcome, Burkedennings. You're absolutely correct that some days are harder than others, but as long as the trend is positive, it's a good thing.

    I should add that nearly all of the side effects I had as a result of the dissection were temporary. I was most concerned about the lip droop--it was very frustrating not being able to control my facial muscles. Again, that lasted about a week. I had moderate numbness on one side of my face for several months. It was unsettling, to say the least. You'd think that numbness was just an internal feeling, but I felt like I radiated the sensation outward. Mostly though, it just felt like I didn't have precise control of my facial expressions. Kind of like when you go to the dentist for a cavity, and the novacain never wears off!

    Regardless, being alive and cancer-free is our goal. If you have that much, you're doing pretty well.

    Just out of curiosity, are you able to eat with your partial glosectomy? Are there some restrictions?
    Age 52 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED

  5. #5
    Actually I don't have any restrictions concerning food, I guess I was lucky because two weeks after the surgery I was able to eat most anything, although tongue mobility was so reduced that a toothbrush was required immediately but that is getting better with time an tongue is able to reach around teeth further now.

    I feel what you mean about not feeling in control of your own facial expresion: I still have paralyzed lower lip on left side and can't smile properly and that also makes speech more difficult ; to be honest that is the hardest part for me as I used to record voice-over audios for a marketing company so now I am very self conscious of my speech and quite depressed with how I sound now after the partial glosectomy

    I know I should be grateful that I was diagnosed in an early stage and everything went well but life changed so quick for me that I have hard days facing my new reality
    I'm seriously considering counseling nowadays

  6. #6
    Senior User IndyLou's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
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    You should get counseling if it helps. While my job wasn't entirely dependent upon me being able to speak, my treatments and the follow-on healing did a number on my voice. I speak and give presentations at work, and I enjoy reading at my church. I was unable to do a lot of that for 6 months following my treatments. Not all of the restrictions were from the neck dissection; the majority were from radiation, I believe.

    Continue doing your rehab, and I'm sure you'll regain your facial control again, it'll just take a little time. The people that know and love you will be patient.
    Age 52 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED

 

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