Lip Surgery

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Brekelefuw, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Since I was little, I always had a bump on my lip. I didn't pay much attention to it until one day a vein on the inside of my lip swelled while I was playing trumpet.
    The swelling went down after a few days.
    As my playing career progressed I noticed that it would swell once or twice a year when I would take breaks from the horn. I guess that is a great way to keep practicing...
    I went to my orthodontist who is a trumpet player and he said that if he operated there was a chance I would lose feeling, so I shouldn't worry about it.

    A month ago I noticed that the top of my lip swelled with blood as I played. I was a bit worried because it had never swelled on the top of my lip before, but I decided to wait it out and let it go down.
    It has been a month and the swelling comes back every time I play.
    I went to a doctor today and he said I have a tumor on my lip as well as a varicose vein on the underside. I now have to go to Edmonton to a maxillofacial surgeon to get it looked at and get surgery on it. The doctor said this is the worst he has ever seen and that it will continue to grow until I can't play any more.

    This is the most frightening thing anyone has said to me. The thought of not being able to play anymore makes me feel sick. I can't do much else other than play, and nothing makes me happier than playing.

    I guess the moral of this story is to really take care of your face.
  2. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    wow man, take care. i really hope things work out, i can't imagine having to deal with that. however, we all have serious issues that come up at some point during our lifetimes, you just happen to find one of your's - now. i'm not trying to make light of the situation, it really sucks. again, sorry to hear about it.

    have you experimented with a radical mouthpiece placement move? for example, extremely off to one side, away from the vein? with time, even massive changes can work out...

    in the meantime - work on your composing chops.

    wish you the best.

  3. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    First of all, I am very sorry to hear this news about you. Reading your posts over the years, tells me you are dedicated and excited about playing trumpet. I know this news must be traumatic.

    I have heard good and bad results from this surgery. A good friend in our town had this surgery. He has a noticeable line/ridge now in the middle of his lips. He is working through this and actually feels like he is playing more back on par.

    It sounds like...from what you describe...that surgery is inevitable. I wish you the very best of success. I'm sure that your TM family would appreciate updates.
  4. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    Good luck man. I know what you mean about the sick feeling not being able to play. I'm really hoping you pull through this.
  5. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    I hope all works out for you, I offer my prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

    As krossum mentioned above, perhaps you could try an embuchere move to one side or the other to avoid the area if needed after the surgery.

    Claude Gordon had developed the ability to play from corner to corner and everywhere in between!

    Best of luck to you,
  6. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Best of luck to you!

    This is terrible news no doubt; but you don't know weather or not this will change/altar your playing. It could be better; or it could be worse.

    Easy for me to say I know; but I'd not worry about playing right now. I'd focus on getting the treatment needed then see where I'm at.

    I wont get into it here but if you PM me I can share some very serious life challenges that have changed my life; most for the better. One accident I was in nearly killed me; you just never know what will lead you where. It is in these moments; for me; that my faith provides me with the lift I need.

    All the best,
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have a buddy that had surgery on his upper lip several years ago. He changed to a bigger mouthpiece and moved the embouchure slightly to the side and everything was ok. He now needs about an hour to warm up. He mostly plays the chorus book in the big band. He can play high, but can't stay up there as long as he used to. Below high C there is no loss of playing ability. In fact he is playing a gig for me this weekend: Bach Cantata 51, Handel the trumpet shall sound+halleluja and a smaller cantata by the baroque composer anonymous.

    The only advice that I can give you is the standard get references and a second opinion before the knife hits your lips. Maybe there is a radiation alternative?

    We are rooting for you!
  8. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 5, 2007
    Brekelefuw, that is truly some tough news to handle. I wish you all the best. I must say that your committment to playing will serve you well as you find your way through this. If you need anything,
    let me know.

  9. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Thanks for all your support guys.
    The doctor said they could use lasers to remove it, so I am much less worried than I would be if I had to get all cut up.
  10. bspickler

    bspickler Pianissimo User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Yeh, sorry to hear about this. A good surgeon should be able to dissect out the varicose vein and any tumour there without a major interruption of the nerve supply or the major muscles. Be sure the surgeon knows that you play trumpet and you need the nerves and muscles preserved.

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