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It may have started as a minor inconvenience – a little pain, a little discomfort, but only when you did certain things or moved in a specific way. You ignored it for awhile, but eventually you asked your Plano, TX doctor to look into it – and they determined that you needed to consult with a head and neck surgeon. While you’re likely relieved to be moving closer to a healthier life and body, you’re still bound to be wrestling with concerns, and maybe even fears, about your treatment plan.
While you may feel like your condition is rare or unusual, chances are that more people than you think understand the medical journey you’re on. Once you research the treatments and procedures in your plan, and have a chat with your surgeon directly, you’ll start to feel that tension melt away – unless, of course, it’s directly physically related to your initial problem!
“I need facial reconstructive surgery.”
Whether you’re facing issues from birth or injuries after an accident, reconstructive surgery from a head and neck surgeon can help restore everything from confidence to functional health in areas like the jaw, face, and neck. A skilled head and neck surgeon will be able to restore or repair considerations like facial symmetry, as well as help fill in voids or gaps to achieve a smoother, more natural-looking surface and silhouette to the face and profile. While this type of surgery will, as any other, need recovery time and care, the benefits it offers are lifelong and cumulative. Without proper reconstructive surgery, missing or compromised areas of the face and head can put too much pressure on existing, healthy structures for support.
“I have cancer in my head, face, or neck and need tumors removed.“
Removing cancerous tumors is one of the best ways to keep cancer from spreading and recurring – combined with other proven therapies, it’s a big step towards getting and remaining cancer-free. These surgeries are typically done by a head and neck surgeon in conjunction with a care plan from a specialist or oncologist; the tumor(s) removed can also help target future treatment once they’re properly biopsied and examined. Timing is crucial for cancer-removal head and neck surgeries, due to the nature of cancer. Once you are recommended by your doctor or oncologist to a head and neck surgeon, be sure to follow-up promptly and schedule your surgery as soon as it’s feasible and medically recommended.
“I have an issue with my tonsils.“
They’re a body part that seldom gets much attention unless things go wrong, but your tonsils tell a great deal about your health. Tonsils provide biofeedback to your body to prevent choking, they become inflamed in response to colds and viruses, and they help protect your immune system when they’re healthy and functioning. For some individuals, however, the tonsils become a frequent source of pain and discomfort, due to illnesses like strep throat that can open painful lesions on their surfaces. If your doctor has recommended that your tonsils be removed or altered, you’ll need the help of a licensed head and neck surgeon to do so. (And yes, the rumor about having as much ice cream as you like afterwards is true!)
“There’s a problem with my thyroid or parathyroid glands.”
Issues with these glands can have systemic results, negatively impacting your quality of life, energy levels, and comfort over time. Working with a head and neck surgeon can help speed up the healing process and have you feeling like your “old self” again, usually sooner than you thought possible. If your Plano, TX primary care physician has diagnosed you with thyroid or parathyroid health problems, surgery will help regulate your thyroid and bring your body back into balance. These types of surgeries may remove or partially remove the glands, reduce the size of a goiter (swelling around the glands) that is impacting your breathing or swallowing, or enable a biopsy of a suspected cancerous tumor in the region.
“I have a mass or cyst on my scalp that needs removal.”
The scalp is a complex region of skin, partly due to its thinness, its curved shape, and it’s wealth of oil-producing glands, designed to keep hair well-conditioned and soft. When a cyst or growth appears on the scalp, it can be extremely painfully and potentially even embarrassing, depending on where the blemish is situated. Your head and neck surgeon can pinpoint these areas and carefully reduce or remove them; often caused by clogged sebaceous (oil) glands or ingrown hairs, particularly bad cysts and scalp growths will become extremely swollen and painful without surgical intervention. After surgery and healing are complete, you’ll be able to brush and style your hair without the throbbing and pain of a cyst, shower more comfortably, and enjoy socializing without the self-conscious worry that your cyst is visible or unsightly.
“I have a tongue injury or defect that needs repairing.”
Your tongue is a crucial part of the body’s processes for verbal communication, eating, and even breathing to a certain extent. If your tongue has suffered a traumatic injury – such as a piercing gone wrong – or you’re looking to repair a defect you’ve had for years, you’ll need a head and neck surgeon that also specializes in oral maxillofacial surgery in order to receive the best comprehensive care. As the structure, health, and alignment in the face and neck are also directly connected to the jaw, a “big picture” treatment plan is important to discuss when tongue surgery or repair is being considered.
Your medical journey is important and necessary, but it’s perfectly natural to feel hesitation or even fear at the prospect of an upcoming surgery. If you live in the area and you need reassurance, guidance, or explanations about your surgical recommendations, the patient-focused team at NextGen, including Dr. Eftekhari, is here to help you: contact us today!