Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Post surgery recovery

It has been more than two weeks since surgery and I am healing well.

There were a few minor complications but certainly nothing to complain about.

As the tumour was in the parotid gland (the main salivary gland) it means that since it was removed I have been salivating and collecting fluid in the wound. Whenever I salivate (any time I eat or even anticipate eating) fluid has leaked from the wound - nice!

I was on a diet of bland food at first but this didn't stop me salivating completely. At first the fluid would build up in my neck and cause a lot of pressure. It didn't feel nice. After two weeks it settled down and while there was no more pressure or pain there was still leaking.

At the follow-up appointment (where the girls also met Dr Ch'ng and Elle thanked her) it looked a little infected and so a course of antibiotics was prescribed with nice large dressings applying pressure. It should settle down in a few more weeks.

The incision goes down in front of my ear and then curves round just behind and under my ear. The feeling in my ear is slowly coming back and I may or may not regain full feeling. Again not an issue.

Here it is two days following surgery in between dressing changes:

Here it is one week following surgery:

Here it is two weeks out and post follow-up with the well healed scar in front of the ear and the nice large dressing adding pressure to help resolve the collection of fluid:

And here it is four days later (yesterday):

It looks even better today!

Following this type of surgery patients are often left with a dip in their neck where the tumour and gland once were. This is solved by filling the space with fat from elsewhere (tummy usually). Ideally it is done at the same time the tumour is removed but because the plan was that I would have radiotherapy they were waiting to do this until this was finished.

The surgeon, who was convinced the tumour was benign at the time of removal, wanted to go ahead with this procedure and called the pathologist. Because the pathologist was so certain of the initial diagnosis it didn't go ahead and once the new diagnosis was confirmed another surgery was planned to do this. The great news is I don't have much of a dip and will not be having further surgery!

Any dip will be a reminder that life is precious and every day counts. I certainly won't complain about that.

Life is good! 

1 comment:

  1. That's wonderful Rach....the miracles just keep flowing we love you! Uncle Bill & Aunt Loraine