Wanna see something gross? Click “More” in order to see the first picture from the surgery. Mind you, it’s gross. I don’t suggest looking at it at all unless you’re OK seeing gross surgery photos.
This is the adenoma prior to surgery. The molars are those on the upper left jaw. Mr. Lumpy stretched from the soft palate in the back of my mouth to past halfway up on the hard palate, as wide as from the gums to just past the central line in the roof of the mouth. To say the least, Mr. Lumpy was huge.
This is the tumor as Dr. Moss worked to remove it. He had to cut all the way around the outside then start working down in order to ensure getting the whole thing. He wasn’t sure whether it was cancerous or not, so he had to keep an eye out for tendrils or other outcroppings that might indicate Mr. Lumpy was spreading outward from the central bulge.
Here’s the tumor once removed. My scanner isn’t great, so it actually lightened all of the pictures I scanned, but if it weren’t so bleached out, you could read the ruler to see that Mr. Lumpy was just over two inches long. The nurses kept referring to it as the size of a walnut. Hard to believe that managed to grow so big in such a short amount of time and yet be benign.
And here’s the result: a crater in the roof of my mouth that removed part of my gums and soft palate and much of my hard palate down to the bone. The large white patches in the center of the crater are where my skull is showing through. Yup, my skull. I’ve seen it on X-rays, I’ve seen it on CT scans, and now in photographs. By the time I was well enough to stand and try to take a look at it myself in the mirror, the crater had scabbed over and it was no longer visible. Still, the nurses right after the surgery all had to have a look for themselves. They had left a flashlight by my bedside in the recovery room so they could all take turns coming in to see for themselves. I found it funny, and my sister Katie says this is pretty typical behavior for nurses. Still, the crater is intimidating and makes for difficult eating, sleeping, and talking. It will take an estimated total of six weeks to heal up more or less completely. I’m really looking forward to that day. It’s still taking getting used to not having this large lump up there for my tongue to always hit. Can’t say I miss it.
So there you have it: really really really really gross pictures of a procedure that divested me of a huge tumor from the roof of my mouth. There aren’t pictures of the adenoids or tonsils because those procedures are both common and boring. Removing a tumor like that from the roof of my mouth? Far more interesting. 🙂