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Saw the Ns today, cut will be in the middle

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Okay, I saw the NS today , my surgery is scheduled for October 7th. I asked him all kinds of questions, he said my cut will be on the right and it will be vertical because that is easier to get higher up?? Also I asked about the left and right side thing and he said that when since he is right handed it is easier for him, So ther we have it.

I asked him about doing the bone marrow thing instaed of taking bone from my hip and he said that he will ask other neuro surgeons that do this and will let me know, he said that he him self does not do it and said that cadaver bone works pretty well and that he does not have a high non fusion rate at all. (he did over 800 surgeries) Yes I asked all of that..
I have to get another MRI soon because they don't use MRI's older then 6 months.
I asked the question again what would happen if I did not get the surgery and he said; well you won't get paralized, but you won't get any better either. He aslo said that he has neck issues and that he does not want any body "messing" with his neck :jawdrop: very comforting I thought, but I guess if I was making my living as a neuro surgeon I would delay surgery also. He said he uses a traction device everytime he has pain or tinnling in his arm.

So then I asked well what if I don't have the surgery and do what you do will I get better and he said No but it migyht help your symptoms. So basicly I found out that if I don't have the surgery My neck and spondylosis and stenosis will either stay the same or get worse,but it will never get better.

Who had this dillema because now I don't kknow if I should do the surgery or not. ~X( :W ~X( He said it could stay the same or get worse...what to do what to do


  • I am only three weeks post op so don't know the long term but...I have a left side down or right up to the middle. I did not lose my voice but have problems with large pills or anything not chewed well. I have to take the skin off of apple, tomatoes etc or they get stuck. I am a woman but have the best vibrating voice! Hopefully that will change as time goes on but if it doesn't it won't be the end of the world. I turn 50 next year and always wanted something that made me different! 8>

    Good luck and best wishes, PP
  • I have not had any issues with scar or voice loss. One of the guys that I work with had same procedure when I did. His is on the left. You cannot even see my scar. Doc picked a good wrinkle to put it in.
  • Have to say that I have not had any problems with my voice either. I would think it doesn't matter which side because they have to move everything out of the way to do the surgery either way.
  • My incision goes from the middle of my esophagus over about 2 inches to the left. I never had voice problems so to speak. My voice felt and sounded like it was going to go out a few times but it never did. I do have problems with pills and foods(even though I chew them forever before swallowing.)
  • Mine is smack dab in the center. Could be because they needed to reach all the way to T1. 2nd surgeon used the same incision, just opened it up another inch to the right. No voice problems, other than a little weakness when I tried to sing or raise my voice at my kids. They loved it that I couldn't yell at them :jawdrop:
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • My first surgery was C5-6 11 years ago. No problems at all. Last surgery at C6-7 was 5 weeks ago. My voice is still weak and high pitched (like I'm on helium) but is very slowly getting better. No problems with eating or chewing - however, I have a horrible sounding cough and tend to choke sometimes. I see my doctor again next week and will be asking how long it is going to take for my voice to get back to normal.
  • My incision is on the right side. I haven't had any voice problems. Swallowing was vert difficult the first few weeks. 6 weeks after surgery now I still feel like something is poking my throat but not having trouble swallowing. Doc said it was normal because the throat has to be pulled out of the way so the surgical site can be viewed.
  • I had ADR c5-6 and 6-7, my incision is from the middle to the right. My voice was a bit squeaky/croaky afterwards but that only lasted for a couple of days.
  • my scar is from the middle of my collar bone up the right side of my neck to just under my chin. i had voice weakness at first more because of muscle issues but it got better very quickly no change in voice at all.im four months post surgery
  • :jawdrop: Ooh my Goodness!! That is awfull. Did you sue?
  • My cut is on the left side. I never once thought about what impact it would have on my vocal chords. The first few days it was hard to chew, swallow, and talk loud. The person here helping take care of me and my 3yr old daughter is deaf in one ear and refuses to use a hearing aid, so I had to painfully adjust fast. Who knows, maybe it helped in the long run because I'm one week post-op from a ADR C5-6 and I'm talking fine. Voice sounds the same, I can raise it just fine now and swallowing bigger pieces of food now which is lovely since I was getting irritated eating so slowly!! :D
    Up until now I was thinking left or right side had to do with where your shoulder pain was. Everyone I have heard of having right shoulder/arm pain had a right cut, and as I those having left shoulder/arm pain have a left cut. Who knows, maybe it's just surgeon preferance?! :?
  • My incision is on the right. It starts right on the right side of my esophagus going up to the right (towards my R ear) about 2 inches.
    Before I had the surgery I asked my NS what the likelihood was of my voice being affected. He gave me a statistic of 10,000 to 1. Guess who that 1 turned out to be? :( :( :( He also told me that he'd be doing the surgery on my right side as it was more comfortable for him. I wasn't about to complain LOL I mean really. I wanted to make sure that the guy cutting me open and working on my spine was comfortable. lord knows what could have happened had he done it on the left side LOL
    On a more serious note though...
    My speaking voice is noticeably lower. If I yell all of a sudden I feel like I'm choking on something and i start coughing like mad. I lost ALL of my singing voice. I used to sing and though i've healed physically from my ACDF, emotionally i haven't from losing my singing voice. It was such an important and integral part of my life and it's gone. I'm a little over 8 months post op and my voice is the same now as it was right after i had the surgery. I've got an appt w/ a voice specialist on Sept 5th. I'm hoping he can at least shed some light on what's causing the lack of strength in my voice.
  • Jayelsea:

    I am so sorry to hear about your voice! I haven't even tried to sing yet. It hasn't even crossed my mind :S I hope your visit with the voice specialist can help! Let us know how it turns out!!
  • SweetyG thank you for your kind words. Honestly I didn't realize HOW bad it was for me until about 3 weeks post op. I was sitting on the floor folding socks in front of the TV. A commercial came on (Pantene commercial w/ the song "Unwritten") anywho... that's a song I used to easily sing. I started to sing along w/ it and it was as if my vocal cords just seized up like en engine. NOTHING good came out of my mouth, that's for darn sure. My heart sank. Oh well, like you, I hope the visit w/ the voice specialist goes well or at least gives me some kind of an idea of what I have ahead of me.

    thanks again for the well wishes. >:D<

  • center cut? I always manage to be the one that has something different happen, but is a center incision that unusual? Anyone else with their incision at the base of your throat and centered?
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • and didn't notice of the voice. I can still sing in the bathroom. However I do feel a little lump on my throat when I swallow my siliva.

    One thing I notice changes to me is my soring. I don't sore during sleep and I am a light sleeper.

    Since POST-OP, I noticed I snore in my breathing during sleep. I was able to hear my snore and I stop it. Went back to sleep again. This is strange.

    Singig....mmmm...perhaps next time when the Church worship team ask for people to sign up to join the choir, I will give a try to it. =))

    You take care and wish you well in your voice and may you get back to singing again.

    Neck Of Steel, when I look at your avatar, I was like :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:

    Cheers !

  • I had a right cut. My doctor told me it was easier for him, and what ever made the doctor happy it is ok with me. I only had a level one c5 c6 and I only have to wear my soft collar for comfort or if I am outside or in the car. It sounds like most of you need to wear yours all the time.
  • Sounds like a cut of beef!

    Seriously, my incision is center and extends to the left. It was entirely on the left the first surgery but the revision surgeon opened it up to the center and beyond. Maybe the center cuts are reserved for us difficult gals LOL

  • No real problems with anything, now it's almost 3-months post op for me... I'd never know they did anything from how my throat feels today. Heck, the scar is even getting lighter and lighter.

    My voice is/was just fine... I was just out and screaming the other day at a sporting event ;)
  • I had surgery the same spot and have to wear my collar all the time right now ~X( It's ok though, I will eventually take it off! I'm glad you just get to wear it occasionally and everything's fine. It makes me feel better to know that I'd still be ok without it. But, I will listen to my doctor since this is what they want me to do. Oh well!
  • Even talked to an attorney. But I decided the right thing to do was just to let it go and get on with healing. The doctor was trying to help me, not make me worse, and I know that there are always risks with this type of surgery. I had a heart to heart with surgeon #1 about it, he actually apologized, and that is all I needed. Well, I need money too, but this wasn't the way for me to get it.

    ***Edit*** For all who are wondering what we are talking about on the "Did You Sue" question, someone here took the liberties of removing my signature, which included my history of a cord injury during surgery. So now these two posts don't make any sense. They SHOULD have just asked me to change my signature, but whatever...
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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