It's difficult to get used to the radial forearm free flap. Tips?

Posted by will24 @will24, Jun 13 2:45pm

I have had a radial free flap grafted in my mouth. It is extremely difficult for me to get used to it and causes me much anxiety. Any suggestions? Thanks Will

Hi @will24 and welcome to the Head & Neck Cancers group. I can imagine that the challenges of getting used to a radial free flap graft in your mouth can make you anxious. I'm tagging fellow members @alpaca @rgotto41 @thelisamarie @gaybinator, who have experience with this and hopefully can offer some tips.

Will, what do you find the hardest to get used to with the graft?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @will24 and welcome to the Head & Neck Cancers group. I can imagine that the challenges of getting used to a radial free flap graft in your mouth can make you anxious. I'm tagging fellow members @alpaca @rgotto41 @thelisamarie @gaybinator, who have experience with this and hopefully can offer some tips.

Will, what do you find the hardest to get used to with the graft?

Jump to this post

Dear Colleen

Thank you for getting back to me

The sensation of the graft in my mouth is extremely difficult to adapt to.

This then causes great anxiety/depression knowing that it is there for life

I am trying CBT to help with the anxiety

I have tried using lidocaine on the cheek to reduce the sensation

Does the brain/mouth ever adjust to the graft and new sensation

Thanks again

Will

REPLY
@will24

Dear Colleen

Thank you for getting back to me

The sensation of the graft in my mouth is extremely difficult to adapt to.

This then causes great anxiety/depression knowing that it is there for life

I am trying CBT to help with the anxiety

I have tried using lidocaine on the cheek to reduce the sensation

Does the brain/mouth ever adjust to the graft and new sensation

Thanks again

Will

Jump to this post

Will, I've not had a graft in my mouth, but I do know the experience of having lesions or mouth sores. They always feel so much bigger than they actually are. How long ago did you have the graft done? Is the sensation one of pain or discomfort, or is it that your mouth and tongue just don't seem to want to get used to the new skin?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Will, I've not had a graft in my mouth, but I do know the experience of having lesions or mouth sores. They always feel so much bigger than they actually are. How long ago did you have the graft done? Is the sensation one of pain or discomfort, or is it that your mouth and tongue just don't seem to want to get used to the new skin?

Jump to this post

Thanks so much Colleen.. The radial free flap graft was done on March 10 but because of numbness after the surgery I really did not feel it until middle of April. The sensation is discomfort.
The mouth and my brain are so far not getting used to the discomfort of foreign tissue from my forearm now being in my mouth. I am sure there is a mental element in my brain which magnifies the discomfort.

Thanks again

Very best

Will

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.