Monday, April 28, 2014

Thyroglossal Duct Cyst - Sistrunk Procedure

As promised, this is a detailed post about my experience with a thyroglossal duct cyst and the Sistrunk procedure.  If you do not like medical stuff or gory pics, stop reading.  This is for people who are going through the same thing and want to hear about someone else's real life experience.

My thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC) first reared it's ugly (and, yes, I mean ugly) head in August.  It came on after a upper respiratory infection as a sore, firm lump around the midline of my neck, above my thyroid.  I went to my PCP who said she suspected TGDC, but referred me to an ENT.  The ENT also said he suspected TGDC and sent me for an ultrasound.  He also put me on 10 days of antibiotics, in the hopes that it would clear things up.  He made it clear that if it was a TGDC that surgery would not be indicated unless I wanted it, or the cyst got repeatedly infected.

When we got back the results of the ultrasound we were shocked and scared.  The ultrasound showed that it was in fact a solid, vascular mass and NOT a cyst.  Obviously, this is NOT what we wanted to hear.  Since it showed up solid, the ENT sent me for an MRI for more information.  When I asked him what it could be, he said he didn't want to guess and he told me, "anything I can say will only make it worse."  The wait for that MRI felt like an eternity, and the wait for the results was even worse.  It ended up that the results of the MRI did show that it was a remnant of a TGDC.  We were thrilled and since the cyst had disappeared, we decided to wait and see if it got infected again before doing anything.

Sure enough, a couple of months later, it came back with a vengeance.  I made an appointment with the surgeon who is also the chief of ORL and the minute he saw it he said it had to go.  It had been infected several times, it looked bad, and my lack of spleen had him concerned.  He also noted that the tract went up very far to the base of my tongue.  He put me on more antibiotics and said it needed to come out once the infection was a bit under control, but ASAP.  Not what I wanted to hear a couple of weeks before Christmas, but at least it didn't give me too much time to worry about the surgery.

Because of my complicated medical history with thalassemia, I had a detailed pre-op visit, despite what the surgeon's admin wanted--she insisted because I'm "young" and "healthy" that I could just do it over the phone.  I knew this didn't sound right.  I contacted my hematologist who was really irritated by this and concurred that I really needed the full workup.  I had a transfusion a few days prior to the surgery to--as my nurse put it--get me all "shined up" and in tip-top shape for the surgery.  I also had a CT scan as the surgeon felt this would give a better picture of the cyst and duct than the MRI could.  It was really no big deal, and I didn't feel any weird sensations or have any metallic taste in my mouth.

The night before the surgery I had to stop eating at midnight, not that this was difficult as I was a total nervous wreck.  Fortunately my surgery was scheduled for the morning so I didn't have too much time to work myself into a frenzy.  I went up to the OR floor by myself and got changed, and then my husband was able to come up and sit with me.  I talked to a zillion people and answered many of the same questions over and over, which was fine with me.  The anesthesiologist was very nice.  He placed my line, using lidocaine first, although I told him that I was really a pro at getting IVs.  He also told me that they were going to intubate me through my nose to keep my oral cavity open because the surgeon wanted to do some exploration through my mouth, and might possibly have to do some of the procedure that way as well.  I had to squirt something akin to Afrin in my nose several times to help with this and to also help prevent trauma to my nose.  The surgeon came in to chat with me.  He was a lot more chipper than I was.  That's when I got really scared and started to cry.  Pretty soon after that I said goodbye to my husband and was wheeled into the OR.  The anesthesiologist put a mask on me and said it was oxygen to really fill my lungs, and after that I remember nothing else.

The next thing I knew I was being wheeled down the hall and the surgeon was joking about it being like a spa day and I got to relax.  I tried to talk and weakly asked him if he painted my toes and we laughed.  I was in and out of sleep in post-op.  At first they asked me to rate my pain and I was like, "what pain!?" but not long after that my neck and throat felt really uncomfortable so I was given some pain medicine in my IV.  I slept on and off.  I kept asking if I could go to the bathroom but they didn't want me to get up yet and I refused a bedpan so I waited maybe an hour and they let me go.  In the bathroom I saw a pretty huge bandage and the drain coming out of one end.  I was a little surprised at how big it was.

I stayed overnight in the hospital's 24-hour observation unit.  The bedspaces are just separated by curtains but it ended up being a nice quiet unit, at least on the night I was there.  My husband and sister came to visit so that was a nice distraction, but the pain was building so I was keeping on a 4 hour schedule of liquid oxycodone.  I ordered just about every soft food on the menu and was sure I'd at least be able to eat chicken soup, but even the soft noodles wouldn't go down.  Really, nothing would.  I generally felt OK while my visitors were there, but as soon as they left I started to feel absolutely awful.  The pain in my throat was terrible and I kept complaining to the nurse and was literally counting the minutes for my oxycodone.  She said that they would not give pain medicine on a schedule, that the patient needed to be awake and asking for it, but I knew there would be no problem because there was no way I'd be able to sleep.  I kept asking her if there was anything at all they had that would make my throat feel better and it took her 3 hours for it to dawn on her to offer me popsicles!  They ended up being a lifesaver that entire first night.

The next morning the resident came in before 5am to take a look at me and he said he'd be back to remove the drain.  The drain was grossing me out, but the thought of getting it pulled out was even grosser.  The drain filled up with a quick 30cc right after the surgery, but after that it slowed down quite a bit and probably only did another 30cc through the entire night and morning.  Again I ordered lots of soft food and liquids but the only thing I could get down was the Dunkin' Donuts coffee my sister brought me.  The resident came back to remove the drain.  He clipped one stitch and then just pulled this long tube out of my neck.  It went across the entire front of my neck and I could feel it being pulled out.  It was gross, but it did not hurt.  I was released to go home before noon.  The hole where the drain had been was simply covered with a piece of gauze, and the incision was covered with steri-strips that I was told would fall off in a few days (they did not).

I came home with the usual, "I'll be able to go back to normal!  I don't need any pain meds!" feeling that people get when they are sprung free from the hospital.  By the time I got home, I was totally exhausted and my neck and throat were killing me.  Since I wasn't really able to swallow, we got all of my meds in liquid form:  Oxycodone, Tylenol, and antibiotics.  One tasted grosser than the next, so my stomach felt quite queasy.  Swallowing really hurt, and I often had the sensation that I was choking on my saliva.  My mom made chicken soup and I was able to drink the broth.  I know that some people say they are eating sandwiches the day of their surgery, but there is no way in the world I would have been able to do that.  That night I had to sleep sitting up both because of the pain in my neck, and because of the choking sensation I kept feeling.  If I had not taken the Oxycodone, there would have been no way I could sleep.  I actually slept upright for over a week after the procedure.

The next few days were much of the same.  Laying on the couch, taking medicine, and only eating soft foods and liquids.  I was able to wean myself off the Oxycodone after just 2 days, but continued to use the Tylenol.  It continued to hurt to swallow for about a week.  For the first few days I was not able to eat anything very solid or dry.  The first time I tried to eat chicken I choked.  By the end of the week I was able to eat small pieces of solid food if they were moist.  I would say in two weeks time I was eating normally.  I did not drive or do any heavy lifting (ie, pick up my kids) for a week.

At one week I had a post-op appointment.  The surgeon took off the steri-strips.  There were no stitches to remove as they were all internal and dissolvable.  He said that everything looked good, and as expected.  He discussed the pathology report with me which proved that the cyst was totally benign.  He also gave me the operative report.  He noted that since a fair amount of underlying tissue needed to be removed from my neck in order to remove the entire cyst, that he had to implant some AlloDerm to make it look right again.  This explained the rectangular firm thing I could feel in the front of my neck.  (It got softer over time.)  I saw him again in another month and he thought that things looked good.  He noted that my neck was still swollen, but that it was to be expected.  He said that if the scar did not look better at our 6-month visit that he could do something in the office to "correct" it.  I'm not sure what that means.

As far as my neck is concerned, it started off very swollen.  The swelling was from my chin to under the scar.  For a long time I thought I looked like a linebacker and I was worried I would always have a fat neck.  It actually took months, but it went completely back to normal.  My tongue was almost completely numb from something that happened during the surgery (maybe I bit my own tongue, maybe from a tool they put in my mouth, maybe from a temporary stitch they put in my tongue to pull it out to look at the back of it-I'm not going to ever know).  At first, it even effected the way I ate and spoke.  I was terrified that it would not go back to normal, but it gradually did over about 2 months.  A large portion of the front of my neck from my chin to below the incision was numb, also.  The surgeon said it was from all of the tiny nerves being torn when my skin was pulled back to do the surgery.  He said that it would take several months to go back to normal.  At almost five months, the sensation in the front of my neck is improving, but far from normal.  The scar is a straight-ish line, longer than I expected it would be at about 7cm.  It is on one of the folds in my neck but I personally think that it is still quite visible.  It has flattened out and gotten less red over time, but at almost five months still doesn't look great.  I was told it can take a year for a scar of this nature to look good and be barely noticeable.

So, here's what I learned from this yucky experience:
1.  If you have an ultrasound and it says you have some awful horrible solid mass in your body, it might not be.  Get more imaging done.
2.  If you don't have a spleen or you are super anemic or if you have some other issue that puts you at higher risk than a "typical" person, go ahead and get the full-on pre-op done.  The extra visit is inconvenient, but probably worth it.
3.  If you are having the Sistrunk procedure, make sure to get all your meds in liquid form.  I don't care what anyone says, swallowing probably isn't going to be very easy or pleasant at first.
4.  If the nurse is too dumb to offer you popsicles, ask for them.  They are SO soothing, and if you are like me, probably the only thing you'll be able to eat that first day.
5.  Hopefully you have a great family like mine and they'll stock you up with lots of soft, yummy foods for when you feel like eating.
6.  Stay on the pain meds for the first day or two and don't fall behind.
7.  If you have that gagging feeling after the surgery, sleep sitting up or at least partially upright.
8.  Be patient.  (I'm still in this stage.)  I'm sure it depends, but if you have a large incision like mine, it's probably going to look crappy to you for awhile.  It does start to get better.  And, if you lost sensation anywhere (tongue, neck) be patient about that, too.  Zillions of nerves regenerating take a long time.
9.  If you hate the way your neck looks before or after the surgery, buy yourself some nice scarves.  They are very fashionable, anyways.
10.  You might be terrified.  I was terrified.  And, in my opinion, that is OK.  They are cutting your neck open and rooting around near some pretty important stuff.  So, it's OK to be scared.  Before you know it, it will be behind you and you'll wonder how you walked around with that yucky looking thing on your neck.

So, since a picture says a thousand are some pictures.  Again, if you are not here to read about the Sistrunk procedure or thyroglossal duct cyst, stop looking now.  I'm being very brave sharing these as they aren't exactly, ahem, flattering...

This is the end of October 2013.  The bump had gone away and then came back
with a vengeance.  The next week I saw the surgeon and he said it had to come right out.

This is when it was at it's grossest.  This is two days before my surgery and I was
very worried because it looked so angry.

One day before surgery.  It looked like it was going to pop out of my neck.  For this reason,
the surgeon had to cut away part of the skin that the cyst was attached to on the outside.

This is a few hours post-op.  You can see at this time, it wasn't really even
swollen yet.  If you look carefully, you can see the drain on the left side
of my neck.  I'm smiling because I was drugged and laughing with visitors...the worst
was yet to come.  The pain that first night was really bad.

Day after the surgery.  You can see the swelling.  It got worse before
it got better.

Just over one week post-op after seeing the surgeon and having the
steri-strips removed.  I thought it looked horrible.

Just over one month post-op.  My neck was still definitely swollen.

Almost 5 months post-op.  Much less swollen and flatter, but I think the scar still
looks pretty noticeable and crummy.


Anonymous said...

I've had 3 abdominal surgeries and you will be amazed at how much better the scars look over time. I found gently massaging the scars for me daily as it increased blood flow and it actually softened the tissue over time. They even have different scar creams that may help. I also use an infared heat lamp to heal and reduce inflamation on many parts of my body and wonder if that could help any. I think so far in that amount of time, your scar looks really good, but it does take time to improve. The skin as it grows and sheds, has the ability to soften too, over time, this is what happened to me. My scars are huge, 2 c sections and a gallbladder scar that had around 20 plus staples and they are barely noticeable. The important thing is that you are healthy and there for your girls. I have followed your blog for years and identify with you as I share your Italian heritage and have one adopted girl from China, so far!
:-) I adopted after my 2 bio boys who are teens, just last year. I have learned so much from your blog and always show my husband your stories as I find your blog inspiring and informational and truly such a wealth of information. I wish you all the best!
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your posting on your sistrunk surgery. Mine was less than a month ago and I'm wondering how long the sore throat lasted and did you lose your voice at all. My voice has been weak and scratchy and my throat is always sore.

I hope you are all healed. Thank you! Renee

Tracy said...

Hi Renee! I hope you are feeling better and that my post was helpful. I was a little reluctant to share all of the gory details! For me, the sore throat was completely gone in under a month. My voice was weak and scratchy for maybe the first week or so. By the one month post-op mark, I would say that both of those issues were resolved. If it goes on, I'd mention to your surgeon. Good luck!

Magda J said...

Hi Tracy, thank you for sharing all the info about this procedure and your experience. I may have to through the same thing, but it hasn't been confirmed yet I have the cyst, USG suggested that, but I will have MRI done, which should help to make the right diagnosis. I am worried about all the pain that follows the surgery and also the scar. :( But if it has be removed, then you have no choice. Was this procedure very costly? I have insurance, but I wonder how this will be covered.

Tracy said...

Hi Magda! I hope my post was helpful. I try not to "overshare" but I like to write stuff that might help others from reading my experiences. I don't blame you for being worried...I was worried out of my blessed mind, but in the end, it was OK. As far as cost goes...mine was entirely covered by our insurance so I'm not sure but I'd have to guess that it wasn't cheap. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy, my name is Laura and I just had the sistrunk surgery on august 27th, so just over a week ago. I was happy to find your experience here a few days before my surgery. There is so little to find online to help you prepare and know what to expect, so thank you for that! I am thinking about doing the same so maybe I can help someone some day too. Anyhow, I have a question about your recovery. Did you have any issues with mobility in your neck, or tightness of the muscles? I cannot turn my head to the left or right very much, and looking up is impossible. The best I can do is look straight ahead. I think it's probably from the swelling and dissection of the muscles but it has me worried, I don't want to be stuck like this forever!! If you had this problem, too, how long did it take to get better? And did you have to do any stretches or anything?

Tracy said...

Hi Laura! I hope you are feeling much better! I'm happy that my post was helpful to you. Regarding "mobility" issues...yes, I definitely had some troubles turning my head and looking up for 1-2 weeks. There was literally no way I would have been able to drive as I could not turn my head. I think if you give it a little more time, you should see some improvement. If not, I'd definitely let your surgeon know. Best of luck with your recovery!

Holly said...

Hi Tracy,

I just saw this, and learned after finding the mass on my neck that it was TDC. I was over the moon because what was going through my head was way more awful. I am actually located in Boston, and didn't know where/who did procedure and if you were ultimately happy with it. A lot to take in!

Tracy said...

Hi Holly! I had mine done at BIDMC. Just leave your email address as a comment (I won't publish it) and we can chat via email.

Anonymous said...

Hi, greetings from Spain. My name is Ginés. I have this thyroglossal "thing" too, and I´m scared to death. I have fear of how I´ll wake up from anesthesia, if I´ll be able to breath or if I´ll have problems pissing it out...
Thanks for your description, it helps a lot.
Good luck!!

Stephanie Miles Mayo said...

Hi! I'm Miles from the Philippines. I just turned 21 last March 9. I was also diagnosed with TDC and I got scared at first. I just graduated college and I'm planning to undergo surgical operation when I am able to save money and find Job. Please pray for me and I want to say You're awesome! You inspire me though I got scared with those photos. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

How is your healing coming along? I had the Sistrunk procedure in February and while my scar looks great, I still feel quite a large lump :-( It's been almost six months. My insurance has lapsed since then so I haven't had the doctor check it.

Tracy said...

Hi Anonymous...well...funny you should ask...most of my scar looks good, but in the middle there is a red bump. :( I saw the ENT at my one year follow-up and he said the scar has a "nodularity" to it that is likely a "suture granuloma". Poo. There is also some overlapping skin on the ends of the incision. He said that I should have "scar revision" done to correct it. I was supposed to do it earlier this year, but if you've happened to notice the rest of my blog...I adopted a third little sweetheart from China which put things on hold. I hope to have it fixed this fall or early winter. Best of luck to you!

irelandsbecrazy said...

Thank you so much for your post. My son is undergoing this procedure in two days, he is 13, and I really wanted to know what to expect in terms of recovery. Your insight was extremely helpful ���� and calmed my mommy nerves a little. Congrats on your new little sweetheart ��

Shona said...

My three year old daughter underwent the removal of a thyroglossal duct cyst last year, following two earlier operations to drain the infected cyst. She is now fighting fit and her scar looks so much better. I don't think I shall ever get over everything that happened but she certainly has!

Brooklyn Long said...

Amazing article! Very insightful! I had a cyst removed in my neck in November of 2014. My surgeon assumed, because it came out so easily, that it wasn't a TGDC. 8 months later, I ended up having another cyst formed in my neck. I had a small round "spot" in my neck since a few months after surgery and it ended up growing into a large cyst. I ended up having my sistrunk procedure Friday (August 21st) hopefully this will be my LAST surgery. This one is definitely way more painful than the last. My sore throat hurts worse than anything. Not even Popsicles seem to help me much. =( it wouldn't be quite so bad if I could sleep longer than 2 hours. I'm only going on day 3, so I'm sure only time will help. I absolutely loved your article. I wish I would have found it before I had my procedure done, but regardless, it has been very insightful. Especially with recovery time. That's what I was mainly worried about. Thanks so much for your article! & congratulations on your new angel!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info! I just had my procedure three days ago and your blog has been really helpful. Just wish I had found it before the procedure.

Cheyne Sample said...

Hello! I just had the same procedure two weeks ago from today. The cyst was fairly noticeable and a little higher than yours. I noticed it back in 2011/2012 but was too stubborn and afraid to get it checked out (and I also didn't have medical assistance at that time). After so long, it started giving me pain related issues a few months ago where swallowing felt like needles in my throat. Urgent care told me it was a "swollen lymph node" and gave me 800mg Ibuprofens for the "swelling" but I was sure that he was wrong so he order me an ultrasound, which lead to a CT scan, and then a biopsy. After the biopsy, there was no visible lump (perhaps because they sucked up all the fluid that was in there), but the next day I took a 2 hour nap and woke up with a huge neck! I looked like a bullfrog and ran to the emergency room. I stayed for approximately 8 hours, did another CT scan and was prescribed antibiotics that I ended up being allergic to. The following week I got a call regarding my biopsy results and they said it was not cancerous and they asked me to come in. My doctor said that I should think about getting it surgically removed but it was up to me if/when. I scheduled the operation approximately 6 weeks out.

The day of operation, I waited about a couple hours before being wheeled into the operation room. Like you said, lots of questions and for me, lots of anxiety! I probably knocked out within 15 seconds and woke up saying "I had a dream!" Haha. There was no pain when I woke up, just discomfort mostly. I did take 3 Vicodins throughout my 30 hour stay but mostly because I was feeling nauseas and uncomfortable each time I woke up. I was able to eat a little, but not as much as I wanted to. I also had a drain coming out of my incision, but I couldn't feel it being removed. I got a check up about 4-5 days later and all was good. But after two weeks, only half of the pieces of tapes came off, so I plan on removing the rest of them later today.

I am surprised how well I recovered. I haven't used any pain pills since I was in the hospital. They only pain I had was in my upper back and that was from being so stiff! But I drove the very next day (probably shouldn't have) and I went back to work 9 days later.

I enjoyed reading your story! I didn't realize how many people have gone through this until I had to look up my surgery procedure myself.

JewelleryByNneka said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, my daughter was first diagnosed early last year at the age of 13 months, horrific to see a large lump appear from nowhere. She did get repeated inflammation as it was winter and with being at nursery she always seemed to have cold or cough. This meant she had to be on antibiotics each time the cyst got infected, it was such a struggle giving her the antibiotics as the medicine was bitter and she didnt like it but it had to be done. Continuing on antibiotics each time she had the inflammation and from such an early age didn't seem like the best option so we opted for surgery and had her name down on the waiting list whilst waiting for her to get to a certain weight 15kg I think before operation. Finally the letter came a few weeks ago with the date 21st Sept 2015, my heart sunk as I didn't know what to expect. My husband went with her and they spent 2 nights . They returned this afternoon. She can't explain how she feels but your post has enabled me understand how she must be feeling inside and it all makes sense now. She's talking, eating and drinking better than yesterday but not 100% yet. Her neck is still swollen and I can see she has difficulty turning her neck but I know its just a matter of time.

Unknown said...

I took mt son to the ER in the early part of 2012 for a large red lump on his neck. Right by his adams apple. Doctors did an ultrasound, called in an on call ENT (which wasn't a pediatric specialist), drained it to ease pain and test the fluid. After being admitted that night for observation and antibiotics , the doctor on duty came in the next morning to tell me they had lost the fluid they drained from his neck. So they were going to release him and referred him to the same specialist he saw in the hospital. My insurace didn't cover him so i had to go to his PCP to get a referral for a pediatric specialist. He saw that dr and he told me he would need surgery to have it removed. It was an outpatient procedure which was the worst thing ever for a 3 year old. He had barely woken up and we were being pushed out the door. The next day his stiches gave out and we were back in the ER only to be sent home and told to go to ENT dr. His neck cleared up only for another lump to appear a few months later....his 2nd surgery, was again an outpatient procedure much like the first. A few days later his incision started draning and a large chunk of it started to open. It cleared up a little bit, a few months later it developed again!!! A 3rd surgery proved it still wasn't going away. August of 2014 was his 4th surgery. Now he has 3 lumps and 2 clearish bubbles of fluid on his neck. He has been referred to another doctor yet again.

Joanie Elder said...

Thank you so much!! I have recently been diagnosed with a TGDC. During a CT scan to get definitive diagnosis, doc found a very enlarged lymph node. I had biopsy of that a couple days ago. Once I get that result back, my ENT will schedule the Sistruck surgery. I cannot thank you enough for all the details. I have been really (ok, obsessively) curious about the recovery. Your ideas of popsicles and liquid meds are brilliant! I wasn't sure how much pain would come from my neck and how much from my throat. I hear you saying BOTH! So I will prepare accordingly. I really appreciate all the time you put into this article!

Yinofsedona said...

I am a 55 year old female and underwent, 9 days ago, the Sustrunk Procedure to remove a large TGDC that I first noticed as a small lump on the front of my neck 4 months ago. An ultrasound and subsequent MRI confirmed the diagnosis in July.

During a scheduled month-long vacation out of country the cyst unexpectedly grew quite a bit. The surgery was scheduled as soon as I returned home.

I found your story tonight when I conducted an internet search about a numb tongue relating to this surgery. My tongue has been numb since the procedure and my surgeon couldn't tell me if it will be permanent or not. She reminded me that the cyst was VERY large.

I'm rather encouraged to hear that your numb tongue improved. I'm also encouraged to read that the stiffness in your neck improved as well as I am experiencing that too. And I have a great deal of swelling in my neck that I am hoping will decrease, too, over time.

Like so many others I was scared to death to undergo the surgery and wished that I had come across your article sooner. Bottom line, I think I had way too much time to imagination the worst due to the fact the procedure takes place at the base of the tongue and near the airway.

The surgery, the drain, the pain wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. I had a 7am surgery and was kept overnight for observation for possible infection.

I am very glad I had the surgery because this particular procedure ensures that the cyst will not return as the entire
Thyroglossal duct has been removed.

Thank you so much for your post!

Julia Sheppard said...

I am so happy to read this! I am a 23 year old female and I have had 3 TGDC removals and in two months I will be having my 4TH at a huge research hopital. My first one popped up and was in so much pain I went to the er.My second one popped up just three months after my first surgery. Then my final one popped up and they removed my hyoid bone. We had all thought it was finally gone until one came up while i was out of town for thanksgiving. ( only 7 months after my last surgery) Here I am a year later and about to have my 4th and hopefully last removal. This article gave me hope in knowing that one day I will be able to breathe and eat right! (not just soft foods)I have mutiple scars from my drain tube and the first spot they went in and it just seems to keep getting bigger as time goes on! Praying for anyone who goes through this or has had to it is not fun at all. Thank you for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this blog! My partner, at age 50, was diagnosed with this, and just went through the surgery. Your Blog has been very helpful and informative. His neck is so swollen right now, just 2 days after surgery -- so we again referred to your blog. We didn't realize it would take months to go back to normal! But we are reassured, that even though it will take long, it will got back to normal. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing, you helped me get through my surgery in Feb!

Kontesa Socorro said...

Hi Julia! My son was has tgdc surgery last Apr 2017. But prior to that, he had an abssess removal, same spot last 2014 I think. Anyway, its his 3rd month after the tgdc surgery. I can see there's still a lump right behind his incision. Awful but we're getting ultrasound before the month end.

Mike Saunders said...

I'm an ENT surgeon - your blog is very interesting, I wonder if you would be kind enough to post another photo 3 years post op as we can see how much the scar has settled.


Ling said...

Hi there, I’ve just had a selective neck dissection for cancer and would also love to see your scar now (mine runs from my ear to front of my neck). My scar looks pretty horrible too with lumps and fleshy bumps which i can’t see healing to a smooth surface! Would love to see what mine may heal to ... thanks and so helpful!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing. I am 31 and just had my surgery. I had no idea how many days to take off of work because I didn’t know how I would feel after the surgery. Right after I was a little sore but only took Tylenol for a few days and after that I just did a lot of resting. It’s been 8 days post surgery and although my strips haven’t fallen off I feel much better and ready to go back to work. Thank you again for the information as it was helpful to know the swelling will go away eventually.