Radical Neck Dissection
What happens right after the procedure?
Usually after a radical neck dissection, a person will be in the surgery recovery room for a few hours for close monitoring. Oxygen will be given through a facemask or nasal prongs. Pain medication will be given as needed. A person cannot eat or drink anything at first. Then later in the day, the person can start taking small sips of fluid. There may be a few tubes that are left near the incision to drain fluids and blood. These tubes will be removed once the draining stops.
For the next few days the person will be encouraged to do deep breathing. This helps to clear the lungs and prevent pneumonia. The day after surgery the person will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around. This helps to lower the risk of blood clots.
If a tracheostomy was done, the
person (and family members) will be given special training in caring for the