Roxy had a hemimandibulectomy today. That is, Dr Karin Davids removed half of her lower jaw – the left hand side which was overtaken by a suspect bone cancer.
Feel free to take a look at some remarkable pictures of her surgery however please be warned, they are graphic. The most remarkable sight of all is this short video of Roxy just three short hours after having woken up from having half her jaw removed. You will see Roxy smiling and munching down roast chicken like she hasn’t been able to eat in weeks!
That’s right, just a few short hours after surgery Roxy is in less pain than she had been living with. The surgery itself took only about two hours. The whole left side of her mandible was disarticulated at the temporo mandibular joint and the mandibular symphysis. The suspected bone cancer was removed with a wide margin with the soft surrounding tissues being fashioned back together. Her jaw was sent to pathology to confirm exactly what the lesion was.
Part of this procedure entails sewing half of the upper and lower lips together (the area toward the back of the lips) which closes the mouth a little to lessen the chance of her tongue hanging way out to the side. This in itself isn’t really a problem for the patient, it just makes them look a little funny (or we think cute!). In all it is much better than living with painful cancer.
Although Roxy’s future is still unknown, already, just a few hours after surgery, she seems a happier dog. She is feeling quite good doped up on strong pain killers and morphine, but we will check in over the next few weeks to see how she is progressing.
Read the next part of Roxy’s Bone Cancer Journey soon, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for its release!