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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Met with surgeon


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Old 10-18-2006, 08:28 AM   #1
Jeni61
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Met with surgeon

Hi, all. I met with my surgeon yesterday and some of my anxiety has diminished.

She will be doing the TME type of procedure, which I figured she would but I just needed to be sure.

She also is going to remove a rather wide swath of tissue in the perirectal area. When I asked her about the exact number of nodes she would remove, she told me that everyone is different, we do not all have exactly the same number of nodes in exactly the same place. But it should be a fairly large number given the area she is going to remove.

I ask this because there is a study of T3N0 cancer that indicates survival is higher the more nodes you remove, so more than 13 was better than, say, a few.

She isn't going to use the VAC machine unless indicated, and her record of complications on this surgery is very good. She did say that if any sign of healing trouble pops up, she does use the VAC, and that it really works wonders.

I was once again startled at how long the restrictions are going to last me -- the physical ones needed for recovery - but my mom/dad will be here, so my family will be able to carry on without me in the saddle for a bit.

She is glad I am getting a 2nd opinion for my own peace of mind. That takes place in one month.

Thanks, all, for the continued patience and wisdom and encouragement - may we all find healing !!!


jeni

 
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
CancerDad
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Re: Met with surgeon

Jeni:
It is normal to remove nodes within a 5cm radius of the tumor. It is true, everyone has a different number of nodes. Why will she NOT commit to using the VAC on you-- someone who has been through radiation treatments-- where it is known that patients post rx treatment have difficulty healing? What is she planning to do, use the VAC later IF you were to develop suture pus pockets-- infections in the sutures? By then it's too late. What was her nonverbal response to that question?
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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Re: Met with surgeon

Jen, glad to hear that you are feeling better about things.

Jen and CD, what is a VAC machine? I never heard anything about a VAC nor saw anything in my surgical notes. I wonder if it could have prevented the infection that I got in my rectal incision. Though to this day, I'm pretty well convinced that it was the foolish nurse who accidently stripped my drain BACKWARD and into my body. 48 hours later the tissue around my drain was red and infected and soon after that my incision became infected. Nice. I still struggle with it six months after surgery.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Met with surgeon

Life2Short:
A VAC is a device that has been used for years in plastic surgery, but is also useful in patients with compromised healing. It stands for Vacuum Assisted Closure and is a device that uses suction to remove fluid and bacteria from the wound, draws out stagnant toxins, and stimulates new blood flow thereby decreasing wound healing time
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:23 AM   #5
Jeni61
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Re: Met with surgeon

CD, my surgeon nonverbally was very calm and took the question matter-of-factly. She said that she has not had to use them very much for rectal cancer patients provided they have had 6 weeks to recover - that less time than that is often a clue to her that she needs to consider using one.

She did speak at length about the rear end ( anus) sutures, and how that can be a difficult area, but that for her, she has had very few problems and it has been minor.

She did say that the VAC is amazingly affective at healing and she doesn't hesitate to use them if needed.

Sound kosher ?

Jeni

 
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