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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Lip Surgery in the General forums; Since I was little, I always had a bump on my lip. I didn't pay much attention to it until ...
  1. #1
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Lip Surgery

    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. #2
    Piano User krossum's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    New York, NY, USA

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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.

    “This art is acquired only by laborious studies, for the rebellious nature of the instrument demands a great aptitude coupled with a persevering willingness to become a master of it.” – F.G.A. Dauverné (1857)

  3. #3
    Mezzo Piano User wilcox96's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    charlotte nc

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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.
    Brad Wilcox
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  4. #4
    Forte User Patric_Bernard's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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.

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  5. #5
    Piano User Firestas'1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Jersey

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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,

    Stan J.

    What is to reach the heart must come from above. If it does not, it will be nothing but notes, body without spirit.
    --Ludwig van Beethoven

    Music is God's best gift to man. The only art of heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to heaven.
    --Letitia Elizabeth Landon

  6. #6
    Forte User Eclipsehornplayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  8. #8
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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. #9
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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. #10
    Pianissimo User bspickler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Denver, CO

    Re: Lip Surgery

    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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