Excess phlegm after oral cancer surgery: What helps?
I had oral cancer surgery in September of 2022. I did not receive radiation or chemo after the surgery. Since then, I have had copious amount of thick, sticky mucous in my mouth that makes it hard for me to speak and swallow my food. My head & neck surgeons do not have any answers. I have tried Mucinex, Zarbees, Ginger Ale, Club Soda, Warm Water with Baking Soda, Biotene, Biotene Gel, all to little or no help. Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, any suggestions?
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@rjcod1955, you may appreciate the tips shared in these related discussions:
– Excessive Mucus with Esophageal Cancer: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/excessive-mucus-with-esophageal-cancer/
– Phlegm and Saliva filling in the mouth after tongue sarcoma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/phlegm-and-saliva-filling-in-the-mouth/
I'm also tagging fellow members like @wretired2000 @nbkod7b @mojo244 @ascc17 @doglover888 who are or have been dealing with phlegm issues.
When my husband had his radiation treatment he had terrible mucus. The doctor put him on low levels of oxycodone stating that the reason he had the mucus was the throat's attempts to heal itself. Whatever it was it did help. Now from a natural approach, we had very good luck with white pine needle tea and eucalyptus vapors. The only other thing is just lots of water.
For me, Mucinex and lots of warm beverages were key to dealing with excessive/thick/sticky phlegm/saliva. For some reason coffee seems to work best for me, but there are thousands of options for warm beverages.
Hi, thanks for the update. Love the best remedy Coffee. I spoke to my doctor about this excess phlegm and he gave me a small list of over the counter chemicals, my reply was are any of them better than the black coffee I drink? He looked at me strange and i just said well for me Coffee works fine.
Excess mucus in the throat was a huge issue for me following a maxillectomy and radiation. This continued for many many months. After a second admit to my hospital for unrelated to my cancer issue, i discovered that each bed had a suction machine on the wall. It connected to a small hand held devise bedside. I started using this for throat mucus and phlegm and it worked well. After discharge i discovered that home health medical equipment companies had portable machines for home use. I was able to get insurance approval and rented in on a monthly basis. I did have to get a prescription and an order from my doctor. There were two options. A stationary model and a smaller portable one. I chose the portable one and took it everywhere i went just in case i needed it, the mucus finally resolved enough that i was able to send back the machine. It has been 3 years since my initial surgery and radiation and although many symptoms and side effects have resolved i still suffer from dry mouth, fibrosis of jaw muscles ( trismus) and neck fibrosis. I find that most drinks have a drying effect in my mouth so I drink only water. That should help loosen the mucus. Best of luck and know that it will get better.
They had to rent me a machine to
suck the excess saliva. I had it about 3 weeks, then it went the other way, and I dried up.
Biotene helps me for that issue.