What is Head & Neck Cancer Surgery?

Head Neck cancer surgery includes cancers of the mouth, nose, sinuses, salivary glands, throat, and lymph nodes in the neck. Most begin in the moist tissues that line the mouth, nose and throat.

Symptoms of Head Neck Cancer Surgery includes:

  • A lump or sore that does not heal
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A change or hoarseness in the voice

What are the reasons for Head & Neck Cancer Surgery?

Using tobacco or alcohol increases your risk. In fact, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use, including smoking and smokeless tobacco. If found early, these cancers are often curable.

What are the types of Head & Neck Cancers Surgery?

Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the mouth, nose, sinuses, salivary glands, throat, and lymph nodes in the neck. Most begin in the moist tissues that line the mouth, nose and throat. Cancer is prevalent in :

  • Lip, tongue, salivary glands, gums and other oral cavity tissues such as the inner lining of the cheeks
  • Floor of the mouth & Tonsils
  • Throat or pharynx
  • Voice box or larynx
  • Lymph nodes in the neck
  • Nasal cavity & Para Nasal Sinuses
  • Ear

Oral cancer is the most common type of head neck cancer surgery. 
Because head and neck cancer involves the digestive and respiratory tracts, tumors – if left untreated – can interfere with eating, swallowing, and breathing, and can invade other parts of the body. The larger a tumor becomes, the more life-threatening it is. Early detection and treatment are critical and can save lives. Other risk factors that contribute to head and neck cancer  surgery include poor oral hygiene, ill-fitting dentures, chronic iron deficiency, infections of the nose or nasal passages, and occupational hazards such as wood dust inhalation and nickel exposure.

What is Head & Neck Cancer Surgery?

Most operations for head and neck cancer involve a hospital stay and an operation under general anesthetic. But, in some situations if you have a very small cancer, it may be treated with a simple operation or laser surgery with no need to stay in hospital overnight. The extent of surgery depends on the size of the cancer and where it is. If you have a small cancer in your mouth, the surgeon may operate through your open mouth. This means you won’t have any external scars, unless you’re having a neck dissection.  If the cancer is larger, at the back of your mouth or in your throat, the surgeon will usually need to make a cut (incision) so they can reach it. This means that you’ll have a scar afterwards.

What happens after the Head Neck Cancer Surgery?

After your operation, you’ll be encouraged to start moving around as soon as possible. This is an essential part of your recovery. If you have to stay in bed, it’s important to do regular leg movements and deep breathing exercises. A physiotherapist will explain these to you. After the operation, it’s likely that you will wake up with a number of drips, drains and tubes attached to you. These will gradually be removed as you recover