Today, I went to hospital to be operated on — something I haven’t had done for over 35 years.
The operation was, quote, “An excisional biopsy” of a lump in my mouth – a lump I have been carry for several years.
The lump has been growing very slowly and I am now biting it more frequently than before, causing a lot of pain.
My dentist referred me into the Maxillofacial department of my local hospital.
I visited there last week to get a preliminary examination. The doctors there agreed it could be removed and scheduled me into a biopsy today.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit nervous. Nonetheless, the doctors helped reassure me and the operation started. They offered me a pair of sunglasses to go over my own glasses as the light from the operating theatre’s light is very bright. I chose to use them.
Settling in, the process started with three anaesthetic injections. I felt the first two and they didn’t feel bad. The third one hurt, and the fourth one was tolerable.
Couple of minutes later, the doctor poked around inside the mouth to check if the anaesthetic had taken effect (I didn’t feel anything). They started stuffing gauze in my mouth, and it felt a bit like one of those prisoner scenes in the movies when they did that.
The nurse kept my lip open while the doctor operated on it. I felt nothing at all. This was so weird, I could see them doing stuff, but they were out of my field of vision and I had no idea what was going on down there.
I started to see blood on the gauze. LOTS of it. They swapped out gauze a few times and then I started seeing small thin wafts of smoke coming from there. However, still no pain.
The doctor then started stitching me up. They used 3 stitches and still felt nothing.
I asked for a mirror at the end of the operation to see how bad it was. I had a puffy upper lip on one side and normal on the other. Expected though.
The doctor ran through some after care instructions. I’m supposed to be on a soft diet for 3 days, no hot food or drink for 24 hours, no smoking, vaping or alcohol for at least 3 days, no strenuous exercise for 3 days, no spitting or rinsing the mouth for 24 hours, salt water rinse after meals from 24 hours onwards, and painkiller use when needed to help reduce pain and swelling.
It’s been around 5 hours since the operation and I’m feeling rumblings of pain. Not intense, but I suspect the anaesthetic might be beginning to wear off.