Hello all. I want to share my cure story in hopes that it might help anyone currently suffering from a mucocele, especially those running out of luck trying to treat it. Let me first just say: DO NOT RUSH TO GET SURGERY. Only as a last resort should you consider this, maybe. Ok, if you want to hear what worked for me after surgery failed twice, please read on... This may be long so skip to the bottom if you want to hear what worked for me, although having full context is helpful I think.
I first got a mucocele on my lower lip after biting it very hard while eating. I had bitten my lip before and gotten a bubble like this before, only this time it didn't go away. It would start to heal, only to come right back again. It would usually come back about two times a week or every few days. Sometimes bigger or smaller but usually about the size of a pea. After about a month I started realizing this wasn't normal. Did some google searching and realized I might have a mucocele. I tried some home treatments - salt water, peroxide, honey, turmeric, apple cider vinegar. Nothing worked. I was hesitant to try others like Alum because I had heard it would only make it bigger. It was so annoying and made everything difficult - talking, eating, sleeping, walking. Mine was very sensitive and right next to my tooth so it was constantly being irritated.
After about two or three months I ended up going to my primary care doctor and he gave me a steroid injection. It turned grey and looked disgusting, but in about two days it seemed like it was healed. Then less than a week later it came back. I freaked out. I couldn't take it any longer and I wanted it to be over now. Every time the mucocele would come back I would think "this has to be the last time, I can't take another day of this." My patience had completely run out. Boy did I have a lot to learn....
I had read lots about it on the internet and the general consensus seemed to be that after a while if nothing is working and you still have it, surgery is the only option. My doctor told me this too after the steroid injection, that if it came back cutting it out would probably be the only option. I also read stories about people that had them for years which was really freaking me out, and I figured I better get the surgery and get it over with now rather than suffering any longer. So I called my dentist that day and asked for a recommendation for an oral surgeon. They ended up finding one that was able to see me that same day, so I went in, and within a couple hours I was having my lip cut into with a knife and the mucocele removed. The surgeon used only a scalpel and the whole thing probably lasted 10-15 minutes. He stitched me up and I thought I was on the road to recovery. It was sore and bled for about a day. I kept it clean and didn't eat an spicy food, alcohol or hot drinks like he said. In less than a week the stitches were starting to fall out but the swelling didn't seem to be going down. After the stitches dissolved completely, the mucocele returned, and this time it was HUGE. Worse than ever before. I had told my wife that if it came back after the surgery I didn't know what I would do. I didn't think it would, but it did and now I seriously did not know what to do. I was really starting to lose it. The thought that I might have this thing for years or even forever came into my mind and seriously depressed me.
The surgeon recommended that we remove it again and this time use a co2 laser after removing it with a scalpel. I had been reading about the different surgeries and that recurrence after co2 laser was 0% in the studies conducted, so I thought this had to be the answer. I was curious why he didn't use the laser in the first place, but such is life. By this point the biopsy was back too and confirmed it was indeed and extravasation mucocele so there was nothing else going on. I went back in for another surgery two weeks after the first one. I left thinking this HAD to be it. It had to heal this time. Otherwise I REALLY didn't know what I would do. The surgeon told me to come back in a week. This time it seemed to be healing much better. By the time the stitches dissolved it was looking pretty much healed except for some scar tissue. I went back and the surgeon said it looked great, exactly what you would want to see, and I left floating on cloud 9. I was so happy I took a photo of myself so I could remember how happy I was. And here we go...
One week later and IT CAME BACK AGAIN. I lost it. Now I really didn't know what I was going to do. The surgeon recommended the same surgery again and this just seemed crazy to me. Surgery obviously wasn't working, and I just didn't want to keep cutting myself up like that and be left with more problems and more scar tissue than I already had. I also started to lose trust in the surgeon after this. To try the same thing a third time seemed irresponsible in a way. And I also realized that it's his job to do sugery and how he gets paid. So I had to do some serious deep thinking and figure this out. I realized I had to change my way of thinking about this whole thing. Above all, I had learn PATIENCE rather than trying to fix it quickly. I had to stop stressing out about it. And I had to tap into my body's healing powers. I had to tap into the consciousness of my cells, and heal not only this little mucocele, but my entire body, mind, and being. I started to look at it differently... Not as something that was happening TO me, but as something that was happening FOR me. The metaphor of something that keeps coming back kept crossing my mind. And the symbolism of it being in my mouth. I started thinking about things that I maybe wasn't confronting, and most of all, saying. I had been putting off some of my creative work, in other words, not speaking my voice. I started to see this as an opportunity and a sign from the universe that I needed to make some changes. I believe everything that happens has a purpose, and how to choose to perceive things and the purpose of things is what matters. And I believe that physical issues can sometimes be the universe's way of giving us a kick in the butt (or mouth) to make us aware of something we need to do or confront. Whether this is true or not, it's impossible to know, but this is how I chose to start viewing it, and my feelings about it started changing. I was less stressed, I became more patient, and I actually started feeling lucky and grateful for this damn mucocele and that it was going to cause positive change in my life. And I started to truly believe that it would heal someday. I set my mind on it healing someday when it and I was ready, rather than thinking about how it could last forever and I wanted it gone now.
So along with this change in perspective, I also researched possible cures, but with much more patience. I called all kinds of doctors, healers, and even more surgeons, trying to find something that could offer a definitive solution. I thought maybe another surgeon could do a better job, but ultimately decided against it. No other kinds of doctors really had a solution either. I started putting raw honey on it again, and tried some Evening Primrose Oil too. And I got an SLS-free toothpaste.
So it had been about a month since my last surgery and the mucocele was still coming back about two times a week. One day I decided to get in touch with my old acupuncturist in California that helped me with my allergies when I was younger. He also helped my mom with her sinus problems when doctors were recommending surgery. I live in New York now so i couldn't go see him, but I called him and he was very familiar with mucoceles and told me that sometimes he uses special needles to treat them. I couldn't find any other acupuncturists in NYC that knew of treatments for it. He was the only one. I wished I could see him, but he was still able to recommend a treatment for me and IT WORKED.
HERE IS THE TREATMENT THAT WORKED:
First thing, DIET - no dairy, shellfish, egg yolk, chocolate, spicy food, alcohol
(He was the only one to recommend this diet change out of everyone I talked to, other than no spicy food and alcohol after surgery, and it seemed to make a big difference right away)
Then he sent me a topical cream - Triamcolone Acetonide, applied 3 times a day and left on for at least 10 minutes to allow to absorb into skin. (This can be precribed by a doctor as well)
And in between, use brown Listerine 5 times a day for 1 minute concentrated on the area where mucocele is. I would always do this before applying the cream, and rinse my mouth with good, filtered water in between.
And that was the treatment. The mucocele came back about a day or two after I started the treatment but it wasn't very big and went away in a couple days. And then a few days after that it came back but it was TINY. I had never seen it so small. It was literally the size of a pencil dot. Not even big enough to be very noticeable.
And this was the last time it ever came back.
I kept doing the treatment and after a week he told me to do it another week. Another week of the treatment and still no mucocele. This was the longest I had gone without a mucocele since the beginning. I couldn't believe it. I still had scar tissue that was sensitive, so it was hard to tell if it was completely back to normal, but there was certainly no visible mucocele like before.
So after two weeks he told me I could try stopping the treatment and going back to my normal diet to see how I felt. I did this slowly, easing back into my normal diet and easing off the cream over a few days. It has now been over a month with no sign of a mucocele. It really feels and looks healed this time too. The scar tissue is even starting to feel a little better, though I realize this can take 9-12 months to soften.
And all during this treatment, I kept my lip protected with soft gauze at all times and was very careful while eating or doing anything not to irritate it, and most importantly not to bite it at all. I didn't eat any hard foods. I tried to talk as little as possible. I kept a strict watch on my thinking, feelings, attitude, and stress levels. I meditated twice a day (have been for years) and I was really meditating with intention and directing my energy to heal and regenerate my cells, especially focusing on my mouth and trying to visualize my damaged salivary glands/ducts healing and repairing themselves. I tried not to let anything bother me or stress me out, always trying to stay calm and relaxed so my body had all the energy possible to direct toward healing instead of dealing with other situations. And every day rather than cursing the mucocele I was thanking it for allowing me to heal in other ways. I became more grateful and set intentions and goals and started working towards them. I got back to working on creative projects that I had put in the drawer. I started viewing my relationships differently. And noticing patterns I had followed my whole life. I've never liked discomfort or inconvenience (who does?) and was always quick to search for the fast solution out of them. From things like this, and also from relationships to schools to jobs, etc. I realized this part of my personality is why I rushed into surgery, which ended up causing more problems. It was also very American of me to want a quick fix rather than having to put in any work. The problem with the western medicine perspective is there is little consideration for the entire body and mind when it comes to healing. They focus on short term treatments instead of long term cures. They may fix one problem but cause another. And in my case they didn't even fix the problem and caused another. I was upset that I ever even got the surgery because of the scar tissue I have now which is not great. And I also have slight numbess on my lip, though it's not terribly noticable. But I realized that this was all part of my journey and it served a purpose. Perhaps so it would stay with me slightly as a reminder of this whole experience so I never forget the lessons I learned from it, and I stay true to the changes it forced me to make. A true scar symbolic of much more.
So this is obviously a very personal story, and I can't promise what worked for me will work for you. And you may or may not be having some personal issue that the mucocele could be serving as a sign for like I chose to see it as. But at the very least, a takeaway from this story should be to not rush to get the surgery or any invasive treatments because they are not a sure bet. And either way it will leave you with scar tissue and numbness in your lip. It may seem like this is the only option because home remedies don't work for everyone either. But try the treatment my acupuncturist recommended and see if it works for you. I would be curious to see so please let me know if so. The guy is a miracle worker and has helped my family in many ways. He's a 5th generation acupuncturist, learning from his grandfather in Korea ancient techniques passed down generations. He really understands the body and mind inside and out and I think this is key when treating something like this, or anything really. You have to focus on the whole being, because everything is connected. I would even say you have to think about not only your being but how it is connected to everyone else and everything else in the entire universe. You are affected by everything and you also affect everything.
So good luck to you all. I hope this story inspires hope, and I wish you all well on your journey of healing and living through this crazy bodily experience of physical life.