Im very sorry to read you are having a major surgery coming up! A mandibulectomy can be a difficult surgery. Its very intricate and can take 8-12 hours in the OR. Recovery can also be quite long. Expect to be in the hospital at least one week with most patients being there 10 days to 2 weeks (depending on insurance). It will take a while to bounce back as you have not just your jaw to heal but also your leg and relearning to walk on it while it is impaired.

If you are going to get a trach ask for a possey muir valve to make speaking easier. Just like going into rads, eat now. Your ability to eat may be compromised for a while making eating your regular diet impossible.

Make sure to get your doc on board about pain meds. This can be a very painful surgery. Many nerves will be throbbing and you probably will be hurting pretty bad (at least I was). Best to ask for 2 different ones to be prescribed so you can flip/flop between them so you never have to wait until its "time" for the next dose. Neurontin or gabapentin works very well with this surgery as you probably will have some nerve pain.

Just remember its all just temporary. If the surgery needs to be adjusted down the road then you will have further reconstructive surgeries. Its necessary to wait for at least one year to allow all the swelling to go down and things to heal.

If at all possible try to have someone stay with you even if you are sleeping your days away. Every patient should have their own advocate to be there to speak up for them and make sure everything is ok.

Best wishes with everything!!!

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile