Surgery is a common treatment for oral cancer to remove as much of the cancer as possible. However, some oral cancers can’t be removed with surgery. It depends on where the tumor is, how big it is, and where it has spread.
What’s the types of surgery for oral cancer and its size effects?
Here take a look on some types of the surgery and its common size effects.
Types of surgery for oral cancer
- Primary tumor resection. It removes the tissue in your mouth that contains the cancer, along with a little of the normal tissue around the tumor. If a large amount of tissue is removed, reconstruction may be used to rebuild the area.
- Mandible resection.If the cancer is in your jawbone, it may remove part or all of the bone. The jawbone may be rebuilt with bone from another part of your body, bone from a donor, or by putting in a metal plate.
- If the cancer is in the bone in the front part of the roof of your mouth that holds your upper teeth, it may need to remove part of the bone. You may be fitted with a prosthesis that fits into the roof of your mouth to cover the hole from surgery.
- Mohs micrographic surgery.If the cancer is in your lip, the Mohs method might be used to remove the cancer. Its goal is to help preserve the way your lip works and looks. The doctor shaves off 1 thin layer of skin at a time and examines each layer to check for cancer cells until no more cancer cells are seen.
- Removal of the tongue.The tongue may be removed in full or partially for cancer of the tongue.
- Neck dissection.This surgery might be needed to remove the lymph nodes in the neck and some of the nearby tissue if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in your neck. This is usually done when surgery is done to remove the tumor.
- This surgery is done if the cancer or surgery makes it hard to breathe. It makes a hole in the front of your neck into your windpipe to held open with a small tube called a tracheostomy tube allowing you to breathe through this tube. A tracheostomy may be short-term, or it may be permanent for the rest of your life.
- Feeding tube placement.A feeding tube is put in your stomach if the cancer or treatment makes it hard for you to eat. It goes in through the skin over your stomach. It may be short-term or permanent. Another option is putting an NG tube into your nose, down your swallowing tube, and into your stomach so that liquid nutrition can be put right into your stomach through this feeding tube. An NG tube is short-term.
Common side effects after surgery for oral cancer
- There are likely to have pain for the first few weeks after surgery and the pain can be controlled with medicine.
- Symptoms from lymph node removal. They include shoulder weakness, ear numbness, or weakness in your lower lip.
- Some people have bleeding or oozing from the cut.
- You may have constipation from using pain medicine, from not moving much, or from not eating much.
- You may have diarrhea from tube feedings, stress, or an infection.
- Bloated face. You may have facial swelling or bloating. This will go away over time.
- Eating problems. You may have trouble eating and drinking. A nurse or therapist will help you learn how to swallow after surgery. A feeding tube can help if needed.
If your teeth is removed as part of your surgery, there are many options for restoring teeth after surgery. After you heal from surgery, you may need more treatment, either radiation or radiation and chemotherapy to help reduce the chance that the cancer will come back.
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