Has anyone had surgery to remove scar tissue?

Posted by mindyt @mindyt, Oct 24, 2021

I have a lot of scar tissue from radiation leaving me with a challenged airway – it has also ratcheted down on my vocal cords taking my voice as well as painful- I live in an area that the Drs tell me to find a specialist (it’s over their heads) but the idea that I could have improvement would be incredible. I have been seen by 2 ENT surgeons in my state but I don’t think the information was there. So has anyone surviving throat cancer had radiation and surgery to remove scar tissue or anyone with some advice I don’t know where to go from here?

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Dear @mindyt, I have had radiation for Pyriform Sinus Cancer. These two pouches, are located down by the vocal cords. My pen-pal friend has also had radiation for throat cancer. We both suffer in different ways. Your question about surgery to remove scar tissue is a good one. Here is what we have both been told by several different ENT's: Radiated tissue can become necrotic (rot) if any type of surgery is performed. One ENT described radiated tissue as "mush." Unfortunately, it can become necrotic on its own too. My friend has been on a feeding tube for over two years, as she can not eat, drink, and can barely talk. Her Epiglottis is fused to her throat from the radiation. Any tampering could produce disastrous results. We both have tracheotomies, as my Vocal Cords are paralyzed. I could barely breathe, thus, the Tracheotomy. Everyone is different, but when it comes to radiated tissue, it is a sad situation. As the doctors usually say, "at least you are alive." I foresee the day when less destructive methods are utilized to cure cancer, however, it probably will not be in my lifetime, as I am in my 60s. Good luck Mindy, and know you are not alone. Stay close to our maker, and you will find peace.

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@thomason

Dear @mindyt, I have had radiation for Pyriform Sinus Cancer. These two pouches, are located down by the vocal cords. My pen-pal friend has also had radiation for throat cancer. We both suffer in different ways. Your question about surgery to remove scar tissue is a good one. Here is what we have both been told by several different ENT's: Radiated tissue can become necrotic (rot) if any type of surgery is performed. One ENT described radiated tissue as "mush." Unfortunately, it can become necrotic on its own too. My friend has been on a feeding tube for over two years, as she can not eat, drink, and can barely talk. Her Epiglottis is fused to her throat from the radiation. Any tampering could produce disastrous results. We both have tracheotomies, as my Vocal Cords are paralyzed. I could barely breathe, thus, the Tracheotomy. Everyone is different, but when it comes to radiated tissue, it is a sad situation. As the doctors usually say, "at least you are alive." I foresee the day when less destructive methods are utilized to cure cancer, however, it probably will not be in my lifetime, as I am in my 60s. Good luck Mindy, and know you are not alone. Stay close to our maker, and you will find peace.

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Thank you – I appreciate you, I am really glad I asked, take care

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I also have the scaring in the throat due to radiation for throat cancer. It appears that the scaring is blocking my ability to breath normally and get the air I need. After consultation with Doctors at Emory they feel that removing the scaring with laser treatment would more likely increase scaring over time and make matters worse, possibly requiring breathing tube. Soooo I am still seeking alternatives.

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@richard1990

I also have the scaring in the throat due to radiation for throat cancer. It appears that the scaring is blocking my ability to breath normally and get the air I need. After consultation with Doctors at Emory they feel that removing the scaring with laser treatment would more likely increase scaring over time and make matters worse, possibly requiring breathing tube. Soooo I am still seeking alternatives.

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Welcome, @richard1990.
You may be interested in joining this webinar about skin changes caused by radiation cancer treatments hosted by Mayo's Cancer Education Center. You don't have to be a Mayo patient to attend. Read more and register here:
– Radiation Related Skin Changes https://connect.mayoclinic.org/event/radiation-related-skin-changes/

Have you considered a second opinion? What are the alternatives? How do you help your limited breathing now?

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