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#185477 09-25-2014 03:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
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Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 87
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I'd imagine that there are a few in this forum that have had the radial forearm free flap done. How long until the new skin toughens up?

I had my flap site patched up with skin taken from my thigh. One thing I have noticed is that it is still relatively easy to scratch the surface of the skin, sometimes annoyingly so. Simple things like putting on a backpack can scratch it if I'm not careful.


Dx 2014Jan29 (42 yr old otherwise fit nonsmoker)
SCC tongue stage III T3N0M0
subtotal glossectomy, partial neck dissection, RFFF, trach, NG tube 2014Feb25 16 days in hospital
RAD 25 zaps 2014May5-2014Jun9
Back to work, paddling & hiking shortly afterwards
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,260
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"OCF Canuck"
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"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,260
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It takes a while but my left arm flap... I don't even think about it any more. It's been over three years for me and it's been fine for over 2 years.. Hugs.


Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 87
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Supporting Member (50+ posts)
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Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 87
Likes: 2
That's great. It is happening less often now, although that could very well be because hiking season is basically over now that summer has gone & the daylight hours are much shorter, it's colder, etc., therefore I am not really running my arm through the straps of a heavy backpack. However, the skin seems to be a bit thicker and tougher than it was only a month ago. I even see a single hair that has made its way through the "new" skin, so perhaps it will be less noticable in the future.


Dx 2014Jan29 (42 yr old otherwise fit nonsmoker)
SCC tongue stage III T3N0M0
subtotal glossectomy, partial neck dissection, RFFF, trach, NG tube 2014Feb25 16 days in hospital
RAD 25 zaps 2014May5-2014Jun9
Back to work, paddling & hiking shortly afterwards
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
"OCF Down Under"
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)
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"OCF Down Under"
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
It does take a while before it is totally healed. I have a permanent indentation (egg shape) now (8 years out) but the colour now matches the surrounding skin.
In the early days I used to wear a tennis wrist band to cover it both for protection and to hide it. Have not bothered with that for a long time now wink
I also still have and suspect forever a large square patch of lighter skin on the thigh!


History Leukoplakia bx 8/2006 SCC floor mouth T3N0M0- Verrucous Carcinoma.
14 hour 0p SCC-Right ND/excision/marginal mandibulectomy 9/2006, 4 teeth removed, flap from wrist, trach-ng 6 days- no chemo/rad.
6 ops and debulking (flap/tongue join) + bx's 2006-2012.
bx Jan 2012 Hyperkeratosis-Epithelial Dysplasia
24cm GIST tumour removed 8/2013. Indefinite Oral Chemo.

1/31/16 passed away peacefully surrounded by family


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