Reducing neck swelling


For anyone with post operative neck swelling I have recently started using Comfiwave neck device which is new and was invented to reduce neck lymphoedema. Arm/leg comfiwave have existed for some time. It is very effective in my experience over last few weeks. It costs about £100, is very soft and can be washed & low tumble dryed. It lasts c 6 months. I will try to attach image below from website. Hope it helps other members. D


Thanks for the tip @PatientD , and glad that it’s helped you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Thanks Jules, forgot to say should be worn overnight to sleep. But can be worn in daytime if desired. D


Hi PatientD, I’m in London and had a right side styloidectomy performed by Mr Hughes 8 days ago. Is it too soon to be using this product? I have to keep the dressing on for another week and my neck is still quite swollen and numb.
Apart from going home with a bag full of painkillers and laxatives (which I haven’t needed) and being told to keep the dressings on and dry for two weeks I wasn’t given any guidance on what to do post op.
Having since read up on the forum it appears I should have been sleeping upright which I haven’t really been doing, so this may have contributed to my discomfort and I am now worried I have created/slowed down healing issues.
I also read on this site that I should have been icing my neck to bring down the swelling but, because it wasn’t specifically advised by the nurse, I wonder if this is correct or will I damage my neck and ear if I do it!
I also had no contact with the surgeon or anyone involved with the surgery afterwards so I have no idea how it went or if they even managed to remove it. It’s all been rather frustrating!!

Hi, I Am glad you had your surgery but sorry to here about lack of aftercare advice. I don’t think nurses understand this condition.

I’d say sleeping more upright will help to lessen swelling and ice helps with that too. Medics have told me that helps. Use ice in plastic zip bag & put inside thin pillow case & use on neck where swollen. Others have posted advice on this.

I’d say it’s safe to use comfiwave neck device as soon as wound is healed at surface. You can just try it for few minutes at first to check you feel ok. Mr Hughes told me to use bio oil on scar once heals at surface. Tbh I think dressing for 2 weeks was too long but that a individual decision.

If swelling is an issue (it often is) I’d recommend you find a Vodder therapist with a deep oscillation machine. Physiopod/Vodder sites have search tools. If you are near London then Sossi on corner of Marylebone high St/A40 is an experienced therapist to use. I have seen her. It’s safe to do at early stage as they can work around wound and once dressing off it will help scar heal & flatten. It really helps recover.

Hope that is of some help. Take care. D


If you want the operation report to see what was done you can request this from his Secretary at Cleveland. She is very helpful. If things had not gone to plan I think they would have told you so hoping all went ok :crossed_fingers:. D


Hope that you heal well and that the surgery is successful for you! A shame about the lack of aftercare, I don’t think I was told about the icing or sleeping semi upright either after my surgery- a different surgeon- but found both helpful. It reduces the swelling which helps with pain and healing, but don’t worry that you’ve not been doing that, and it certainly won’t cause damage if you do this…Unfortunately many doctors are quite dismissive of the healing which is required for this surgery!
Take care and make sure you don’t over do things too much or it might set you back :hugs:

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Bless you Jules. Thank you so much for your kind words and for putting my mind at rest about the damage. I was probably a bit hysterical when I wrote my comment due to lack of sleep!


Thank you PatientD. I have just sent Amalia an email. I agree with you, she has always been very helpful and kind.

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Oh thank for taking the time to reply. So much helpful information. I was told to take a week off work so, in my ignorance, I thought I’d be back to normal after then, cycling and doing my Pilates. I definitely don’t feel able to do that yet, but it might be my age!!
Keeping the dressing on for two weeks is driving me nuts because I can’t wash my hair and dry shampoo was definitely not designed to be used for this length of time. I’m sorely tempted ask my husband to carefully peel the dressing off and see how it is, so I can have a shampoo!
After ten days the swollen area is still numb so I do hope I get feeling back at some stage but will look up a Vodder therapist in South West London.
Thank you again and hopefully I can help someone else in future and pass on your knowledge.

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Hi again, forgot to say deep oscillation machine is by Hivamat ( hence physiopod website that sells machines to therapists).

On hairwash I found using a hand held shower and leaning over bath or shower tray allowed me to wash hair without getting too much water on wound area. Hope that may help.

I did take dressing off after about a week or more and I just used light gauze or gauze pads cut up and secured with tape to cover the wound. Guess dressing is to stop infection but for me it became irritating and my skin did not like it. Also I think some air helps the healing process. The wound has steri strips on it and I did replace a few of these carefully so wound cleaner. I did take spare gauze & wound coverings away from the hospital with me which was helpful. But sure they are available in shops/online. Have to be careful until surface heals but it was ok for me.

In addition to Bio oil I did try Cica gel & steroid gel too that others on this site recommended. The Embrace scar tape member just posted about looked impressive too.

On therapist make sure they are Vodder trained. There are lots of “cosmetic therapists” due to liposuction and they are not medically trained like Vodder are.

Good luck with your recovery. Guess you have 6 week follow up with Mr Hughes when you can chat things through. Take care. D


Ps. It’s not your age. It’s just a tricky recovery & medics do not give us realistic advice on post op recovery. If it’s VES then brain also takes time to adjust to changes to blood flow in brain. D


@Claret - I went back to Pilates at the end of two weeks post op. It was too soon. I should have waited a month or two before re-starting that because the neck muscles are used so much. I imagine my early re-start slowed my healing a bit. I was close to your age group when I had my surgeries & am definitely there now. Staying active as we age is necessary for vitality. You’ll be able to get back to what you love, but right now listen to your body & rest when it asks for rest & take the days slowly when you don’t feel great. Pushing yourself will only serve to cause symptoms flairs which definitely make recovery feel it’s moving in the wrong direction. You will find recovery is up and down as the nerves heal over months, but the numbness & swelling you have now will begin resolving bit by bit over the next months.

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I was able to do my normal walking fairly soon after surgery, but anything around the site like hoovering or sweeping pulled my neck too much, I did lifting for my voluntary work so avoided that for 4 weeks. Even if you have a desk job, it can still be a strain on the neck muscles if you have to keep looking down etc… So ignore the doctor’s advice & take care of yourself! :hugs:
I got my hubby to wash my hair but he was a bit useless at it :joy:

I forgot to say that my husband taped several layers of plastic wrap over my incision so I could shower & wash my hair. He used medical bandaging tape we had on hand. It worked pretty well.