← Return to Partial Glossectomy with free flap rebuild of tongue

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Hi Badfish,
First I would like assure you, and please fight back any negative thoughts and keep hopeful as @mnmike advised also.
I am diagnosed with Stage II Oral squamous Cell Carcinoma (tongue).
In Mat, 2022, I underwent A subtotal glossectomy (nearly 80%) of my tongue removed, with tongue reconstruction (free flap - my pectoralis major muscle used).
Thank Allah, I recovered almost immediately after 7 and half hour's operation. Tongue removed; all my neck lymph nodes removed.
They sent immediately to the ward where I spent 9 days.
Many tubes were attached: drains, urinary catheter, Tracheostomy tube, and feeding tube (nasogastric), but don't panic please, they were removed at 24 hrs. three days, 7 days and 45 days respectively. (No pain ever!).
Some antibiotics administered and I need some blood transfusion, so two pints were given.
I keep a follow up schedule for dressing, stitches removed before I am discharged from hospital.
I started oral fluid intake after 45 days, only thin liquids that can pass through.
eventually I started more semisolid foods (blended) but gradually.
As cancerous cells affect the perineural region, so I have to take 30 sessions of Radiotherapy, this really the challenging phase, Radiation is Double-edge weapon, one might experience lyphedema, thick salivation, sore mouth or throat. For me all went fine - Thank Allah - except for slight neck lymphedema, that subsided later (I don't afford paid physiotherapy exercises for lymphedema, speech, and swallowing, so I just extensively googled free exercises provided out there, and all went OK.
the lymphedema subsided and the swallowing is improving gradually, but I have the problem of the sick saliva, some pockets that keep food residues that need careful removal of food particles since the sensation of the new tongue is not good.
As for the speech, it is improving much, it is even more difficult for me because I am an Arabic native speaker, and many Arabic Language letters have to be produced using your tongue and deep down your throat, or the combination of tongue and the roof of the mouth. Hopefully it goes easier in your case.
I hope you will not experience any of these complications.
of course, you have to do some CT and PET scans for follow up to see the progress.
Every case is different from the other.
Now that one year and five months passed, the follow up Scans showed no recurrence of the tumor, but the tracheostomy opening didn't heal till now, due to the radiation, however, I am leading a normal life - except I can't eat hard food and somewhat impaired speech- I hope that improve by time.
I would like to mention the help, guidance and reassurance I find here in this platform and the awesome mentors who really guide you through this difficult time.
I wish you all the best,
I hope you find my experience reassuring

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Replies to "Hi Badfish, First I would like assure you, and please fight back any negative thoughts and..."

Thank you very much sharing your experience with me. Hearing others stories really help give me reassurance in this scary time.

Best Wishes in your continued healing.