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#201088 12-20-2021 09:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2021
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Joined: Oct 2021
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I had a mandibulectomy surgery Nov. 15 on my left lower jaw with fibula flap, and I'm sure I'm being impatient, but when will my face start to look more normal? Can anyone provide insight?


Kimmybgood
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I too have been through a fibula free flap surgery, albeit with a series of serious complications that required two more radical surgeries to control immediately following the first surgery...within days. Looking normal, what ever that is, may or may not be in any patients future. The outcomes are very dependent on surgical teams experience, and the amount of mandible that had to be replaced. In general, most of the patients that I have seen personally, have pretty good esthetic outcomes. I'm not one of them. If you have specific questions or areas of concern I'd be happy to try and answer your question further. I've seen a lot of patients go through this procedure. When you are six months out you will have a pretty good idea of your long-term physical appearance.


Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
Joined: Oct 2021
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Thank you Brian I appreciate your candor. I know I won't look like I did before. I didn't really mean to focus on appearance. I guess I was hoping the swelling would go down more quickly because it feels like a leech on my jaw. It's good to know I will be able to tell my long-term physical appearance in six months. The further I get away from surgery, the less I care about my looks and my scars. I earned them. I just want this swollen part to shrink because of how it feels. So sorry for what you went through and thank you so much for founding this organization and for the forums. It's like a lifeline for me.






Kim, Stage IV oral cancer survivor, currently in treatment


Kimmybgood
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Thank you for the kind words about OCF and the forum. Those of us that have been through any kind of reconstruction have a wide variety of outcomes, not just esthetically but in function, swallowing, speech and more. I have one of the worst final outcomes of the people that I have come across. I didn't need a mask at Halloween. But I've gotten used to being someone that people stare at. The worst part of it all was losing my voice and realizing how worthless my cell phone was to me. It also cut me out of many future lectures that I was supposed to give, and I will miss them as I enjoy the process of connecting with treatment professionals and patient alike. But it will be written communications in the future and a PEG tube. I truly miss FOOD as well. I'd kill to be able to eat regular food again and enjoy a meal with others.

But it could all be worse. Many do not make it through this journey and I'm here 2 decades out, beaten up for sure, but having traded it for a meaningful life each day, I keep my whining about my own situation to a minimum.


Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
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