What to expect from a left posterior neck lymphadenectomy

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11/12/2010 7:11am
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Replies: 9

Last night, pathology confirmed that the lymph node removed from my neck Monday tested positive for melanoma (unknown primary).  All other pathology and my PET-CT scan are clean.

I will contact an oncologist today, but from everything I read and what my doctor says, my next step is a left posterior neck lymphadenectomy.  My doctor suggested that I would be "knocked on my back" for about a week with one more week recovery before I could return to work and activities of daily living.  I do better when I know what to anticipate.  Please help me.

I'm sure some of you have had this procedure.  How did it go for you?  What was recovery like? How long did it take to get back to a "normal" daily routine, and what was different when you did so?   What surprised you about the process?  What helped you get through it?

Thanks for your help.  I've been reading this board since Monday, and it's a wonderful community.

Stay strong, everyone.

Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. WInston Churchill It ain't over 'til it's over. Yogi Berra My 20th anniversary is only 9+ years away. Personally, I'm thinking champagne & oysters. Now I just have to get there

You said you are contacting an oncologist today. Where are you located?  If at all possible make that first contact be a melanoma specialist!  It you are going to have a lymphodectomy they can direct you to the proper oncological surgeon. Just recently my local oncologist sent me on to a general surgeon. I let him do the fna because it would be quicker. Then I went to a specialist. It was worth the extra wait time.  Now all follow ups are with the specialist and inbetween I'll continue meeting with the local onc. I don't want to have the delay time if this occurs again!

I recently had several nodes removed in my arm as well as behind the clavical. It's been 3 weeks now and while I'm active I am extremly sore and not totally healed. Returning to work after 2 weeks might be a bit much!  I guess it depends on your job and your overall health.  I would think that you might even still have drains in at the end of the 2 week period of time that your Doctor said you could return to work. 

I hope you get answers from someone who has had that exact procedure. Meanwhile do some research and get a Dr. that is knowledgeable!!

Linda

Stage IV  NED1 month today!!

Hi Linda. First, congrats on your 1 month of NED. Here's hoping that's the beginning of a long and lifelong run of good results!

I live 30 miles of Philadelphia, and run a firm that consults to pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers. I am reaching out to melanoma experts in NYC, NJ, and Philly. I certainly will follow their feedback.

Thanks for your good suggestion. I'll post when I know more.

Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. WInston Churchill
It ain't over 'til it's over. Yogi Berra
My 20th anniversary is only 9+ years away. Personally, I'm thinking champagne & oysters. Now I just have to get there

You are surrounded by wonderful Doctors!!  I use to live in Delaware and went to Univ. of Penns melanoma and cutaneous group.  I know there are others also in the area.  If you need suggestions on finding a mel specialist or a surgeon you need to contact Catherine Poole. She runs another mel web site and is from the Philly area.

http://www.melanomaintl.org/about/staff.html

It does sound like you will also get much advice from your pharmaceutical friends.

I was thrilled when my surgeon told me that my mel was resectable again.  Surgery is not fun, but doable.

Let us know your next step!

Linda

I had a radical modified left neck dissection on 9/22 - 32 nodes removed.  I was in the hospital for 2 days and the worst part of it for me was recovering from the anesthia.  I took 11 days and returned to work but I attended a baseball game 6 days after surgery.  I was tired and a little sore, but no major pain.  Not sure if your surgery is similar, but these were my experiences.  I hope that your surgery is painless and your recovery is quick!

Wendi 

Thanks Wendi. My wife says that you handled it so well because you're a woman! I aim to prove her wrong...

Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. WInston Churchill
It ain't over 'til it's over. Yogi Berra
My 20th anniversary is only 9+ years away. Personally, I'm thinking champagne & oysters. Now I just have to get there

May I propose a more fundamental question for your oncologist: What evidence is there that the removal of the lymph nodes will stop the spread of cancer?

It seems to me, from what I have been able to understand as a layman, that this question is currently being discussed in the medical community.

 

Regards

Son had this done and for him it was while he was still recovering from his original surgery and sentinal node biopsy (his melanoma was on his tongue) so that made it more difficult. He had the head and neck surgeon who did the original surgery do it and he did a great job. It was a little hard to move his neck for the first week or so but all in all the recovery was not too bad.

All the rest of the nodes removed were negative for melanoma so that was a relief. I know there is controversy about doing it but for us it seemd like the right decision.

Hello Melanoma Girlie-Girl!

I had right temporal excision w/right parotid partial parotidectomy plus 35 lymph nodes dissected, no evidence of disease (NED) in the lymph nodes…whoopee!   I was also in the hospital for 2 days because of the anesthia (ms...still can't spell.)  meds... I was up and trying to ride my horse one week after...LOL, but it did take about two - three weeks before I was working, that was in 1/08.

Side effect;  I have begun calling myself “bobble-headed guru girl” these days because I have no lymph nodes in the right side of my neck.  So if I don't go horizontal and drain the invisible fluid out of my head then my head feels like it should weigh 50 lbs.  Now I am Scot/Irish but really! 

I was Stage IIC. Surgery was in 1/08 (diagnosis was 12/07).   Clean for almost one year to the day when three biopsies came back melanoma…wide excisions in 4/09 and took GM-CSF beginning 2/09 to 1/10. 

If you want to talk, just email me and I will give you my number.

My best to you and biggest of hugs...Bobble-Headed Guru Girl...Suzan AB

Presently...One Day At A Time.

Oops, sorry...I mean Man...oops again I was confused, which is pretty normal for me...My goodness...Too funny!  Sorry again!

Presently...One Day At A Time.