Friday, July 11, 2014

Wide Local Excision / Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

I am home from surgery and recovering in bed as directed. I promise to follow the doctors' orders to the letter so as to be able to give an accurate picture of recovery. 

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am and they took me for a urine sample. Wanted to be extra sure I'm not pregnant! Haha...that would have been quite a surprise. 

I changed into a gown and was directed to a hospital bed in what would become my recovery room later that day. Hubby couldn't be with me for this brief part, because sometimes spouses faint during IV insertion. MY hubby grew up on a farm and has been there for me through three pregnancies and deliveries...he's not the queasy type. Still, we didn't make a fuss.

After my IV was in place, hubby joined me and the parade of docs and techs began. When the anesthesiologist came in, I explained that I had had problems with vomiting following oral surgery in the past. She promised to use all available medications to help me with nausea and also to give me "extra" fluids to help with my caffeine withdrawal headache. Nice! 

Met with the surgical oncologist, who told me that his review of the biopsy slides came in with slightly better news than the original lab. The comparison:


Original 0.96mm  New 0.81mm

Clark's Level

Unchanged at 4

Mitotic Rate

Original 2 / mm2    New 1 / mm2

He told me that based on the new Breslow, he felt he could reduce the surgical margin to 1cm from 2cm if I wanted. I said I didn't want that, because I want to go big or go home. He asked if I would be okay with 1.5 cm, which might help avoid the skin graft, and I agreed to that. 

Next thing I knew, they were ready to wheel me away and tears started to trickle again. I just didn't want to leave my was so hard to go! 

Next thing I remember was waking up in the OR with everybody telling me how great it had gone. No skin graft! Woot! After what seemed an eternity, but was probably just 15 minutes, they wheeled me into recovery and brought in my husband. What a relief! 

Spent a little time in a recovery room with an actual harpist playing. That was surprising, but nice. 

Surgery was on a Thursday. My wound is covered in a "no maintenance" dressing, so I can't see anything at all, which is good, I suppose, because I'm not ready to see it yet! The plastic surgeon will take care of it on Monday. I also have a brace to keep me from bending my leg. The dog finds that a little confusing! 

I'll be ready to share the details of incisions and recovery after s few days have passed. 

Overall, I'd have to say this whole thing went very well, and I sure am glad to be home with my family.. 


  1. Glad it's done! Wishing you smooth sailing from here!

  2. I'm so glad to see these pics! :)