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post surgery swelling
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post surgery swelling

Hello-

I am 21 and was diagnosed and treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. I have none of the known risk factors except for being in the small rare group of otherwise healthy young people with oral cancer. I had a hemiglossectomy (they removed about 1/6 of the tongue - right lateral), a flap was taken from my left and a partial neck dissection. The lymph nodes came back clean as did the margins around my tumor.  My surgery was 19 days ago.  At my last appointment (about a week ago) my team said I was healing rapidly and ahead of schedule. Today I noticed that some of my swelling along the incision on my neck is more prominent than it was a few days ago.

Is it common for swelling to fluctuate? I also think my "new tongue" is more swollen than before but perhaps it is because I am gaining sensations in the new part?  If anyone has any insight on post surgery conditions from a medical standpoint or personal experience please share them with me.  

Three months ago I would have never guessed I had cancer...but thus is life!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

The swelling in the mouth usually takes few days to subside after hemiglossectomy. Since this a new swelling that you have noticed I would suggest you to schedule an appointment with your treating doctor and get yourself evaluated. Meanwhile please continue with a soft diet for some months to avoid damaging the graft and ensure complete healing of the jaw.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much, I have an appointment scheduled for next week.  I will continue with the soft food diet as you and my team have advised.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I am glad you found the advice helpful. I wish you all the best for your next clinical examination.

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