Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
Hi, I believe I have just signed my consent form for more skin removal and some lymph nodes in my armpit to be checked, it's going to be a 90 minute procedure under general anesthetic, my question is how painful and how many stitches do you think I will have in my armpit. I had 21 stitches in my back when they removed my mole the first time, will it be the same again or more. I have never had a general anesthetic so don't know what to expect. feeling a bit anxious. I have a pre op appointment on the 2nd October and have to go in at 7 am on the 4th October. just really want to know, will I be out of action? and how long I will need to be hospital, I am aware it will be day surgery so not expecting to stay over-night. thanks in advance DEN
I had mine quite a while ago (with the NHS) and it was more uncomfortable afterwards than painful. I felt really groggy for a few days after the surgery and took 3 days off work but then was back after that. I have a desk job, so I guess it depends on what you do.
For may day surgery I also had to be in at 7am. Your Anesthesiologist, Surgeon and Oncologist will probably want to see you before you go into surgery and it took me ages - I went home late afternoon (Although it is all very blurry)! Make sure you take something to do!
Hope this helps
Thanks, not looking forward to it, but I know it needs to be done, more concerned about afterwards, I have a household to look after.
Honestly it’s not to bad - the waiting is way worse. Although it’s not to bad, it’s still surgery so please try and take it easy for a couple of days!
I had a WLE and SLNB in February 2017. Like you I had to be at the hospital at 7am and there was one other lady who was there at the same time. Fortunately, I was the first to go down for surgery so I didn't have time to sit around and worry.
When I arrived a nurse took all my details and gave me a gown and some lovely surgical stockings to change into. I was then taken to another room and the surgeon and anaesthetist came and introduced themselves. The surgeon explained what would happen and drew arrows on me, pointing to the armpit for the SLNB, and also circled the area where my melanoma had been removed from, which was on my arm.
As I had never had a general anaesthetic before and was nervous about having a cannula inserted into the back of my hand I took the opportunity to tell the anaesthetist this. When I went down to the operating room the anaesthetist was very good and got the cannula in without a problem. He then said that he was introducing some anaesthetic through the cannula and that my arm might feel a little cold. He then put a mask over my nose and the next thing I knew I was waking up several hours later in the recovery room.
Once I'd come round completely I was then moved to a ward where I probably spent about an hour and was given a sandwich and cup of tea. I was allowed to go home once I could stand without feeling wobbly, had eaten and drunk, and spent a penny! I think we left the hospital about 3 o'clock. You will need someone to go with you, or come and fetch you, as you can't drive after a GA and I certainly wouldn't have been able to cope on a bus.
You should be given leaflets, if you haven't already, that explain what you can and can't do after the ops. There is a length of time that you can't drive after having a GA but I can't remember what that is now. I was told to take paracetamol and ibuprofen for the first two days after the ops and then see how I felt. I didn't need to take painkillers after 48 hours and my wounds felt sore rather than hurting.
I was told not to do any lifting or strenuous activity for a week and then to gradually start doing things again the second week. By the time I went back for my results after a fortnight I had full mobility back in my arm and was back doing the cooking and cleaning, etc.
I have no idea how many stitches I had in either of my wounds. The area of skin they remove from your back will be between 1 and 2 cm wider and deeper than the original excision. The wound in my armpit was probably about 3-4 inches long. All my stitches were dissolvable so I didn't have to go and have them removed. I did have to go to my GP's surgery to have the nurse remove the outing dressing from under my arm after a week. From memory, I think this was the point when I could then shower and the inner dressing just stayed on until it naturally came off. However, I can't quite remember exactly what happened about the dressings so be guided by what you're told at the hospital.
Are you having your lymphoscintigraphy, which identifies the location of the sentinel lymph node, the same day as your surgery? I had mine the day before. If yours is all on the same day then you might not come out of hospital until the evening as that takes an hour or so depending on how quickly the sentinel node takes up the dye.
Let us know how you get on and don't forget to ask how soon you'll get the results.
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Thanks very much for the info, I will ask lots of question when I go for my pre op on wed 2 Oct. just wanted a bit of reassurance really, I'm a foster carer and have a very dependent child at the moment so she will fret without me. fingers crossed it all goes well on Friday 4 Oct.
How did the pre-op go yesterday D.E.N.?
All the best for tomorrow.
I now know what's going to happen tomorrow, the hospital didn't have my notes so didn't give me all the information I needed, but I guess I will find out more tomorrow. Just disappointed that I will be by myself as my partner is not allowed to wait with me The hospital said he will have to drop me off and they will call him when I am done. I have never had an anesthetic and am feeling a little anxious, would have been easier if I could have someone with me. I'm sure it will all be fine but doesn't stop me worrying. got to be there at 7 am.
thamk's for thinking of me.
I went in at 7am too. There are others there and you can chat or sit and read a book if magazine. Just ask the others there if you're worried. There will be lots going on and you'll be looked after. If you've never had anything done before it can seem very scary but please tell someone how you feel. I have had many operations and a young lady who was there was the same as you and we all looked after her and she was much calmer and less frightened. I hope it all goes well for you and send positive thoughts to you.
How did the operations go last week? Hopefully, you're not feeling too sore and you're making the most of being waited on hand and foot by your husband
Did the hospital tell you when your results should be back?
Sending a gentle ((hug))
It was a very long day, I arrived at the hospital 6.45am, got weighed ect. saw anaesthetist 8am and surgeon soon after.Got taken down for my scan in nuclear medicine, had injections in my back around the mole area, got scanned to find lymph nodes, came back to wait for surgery, I waited till 4.30pm and they eventually took me down to the theatre where I waited at least another hour, so by this time I had got quite anxious as I didn't know what to expect. Anyway all went well, was very sick when I woke up, but managed to get home by 11.30 pm. Will have to wait 2 - 3 weeks now for results. if I don't hear anything by friday I need to chase them. feeling sore but glad it is over.
I don't know what happens next, I guess the next thing will be results. I have a follow up appointment on 12 December 2019 which I presume is part of my regular checks, this appointment arrived before I had surgery, that's why I think its a follow up appointment. but will have to wait for my results from the hospital that I had the surgery. fingers crossed they come back OK, if not I guess I will go with the flow and do as I am told.
thanks for checking on me
Hi DEN I've had WLE in between 2 toes and SLNB in groin on 16th September. I had a call today from skin cancer nurse to let me know biospy was clear :) good luck
Wow D.E.N. that was a long day!
I had my lymphoscintigraphy the afternoon before the WLE and SLNB the following morning so it broke things up a bit. I'd never had a GA before so didn't know what to expect but, thankfully, it didn't make me feel sick and after I'd come round properly and had a sandwich and a cup of tea I was on my way home.
Yes you're right, the next thing that happens is that you'll get your results. Assuming that everything's okay then that's your surgery finished and you'll start 3 monthly check-ups with your dermatologist to check your skin and lymph nodes.
Come back and let us all know your results
That's great news Shelvox. I hope you've had a little celebration
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