Surgical Timing

Posted By
6/25/2014 10:20am
View other posts by
Replies: 3

Hello all,

I met my surgeon yesterday and am waiting for surgery for my .96 Breslow, Clark IV WLE / SLNB.  I really liked the surgeon (Godellas at Loyola Medical Center) and felt very comfortable with the entire process. 

The problem: They can't schedule me until August 11th (original biopsy completed on June 3rd) which happens to be my first day of the new school year.  I'm a high school French teacher. 

I am struggling with the scheduling....too far away, would probably have to miss the first two weeks of school (lesion on my leg, probably skin graft) stress, etc.  Friends and family are advising me to try to find another surgeon, maybe at Northwestern Memorial or University of Chicago (which also have more comprehensive cancer centers).  

I am also struggling with the idea of making the change of surgeon, because I did feel so comfortable at Loyola.  My surgeon's exact words were (more or less): 

"Listen, doctors get sued. They really do.  If I felt that this kind of wait would negatively impact your health, I would refer you to another hospital to avoid being sued.  Enjoy your summer. Take a family vacation. Enjoy your family. We'll take care of this in August." 

ACK.  I don't know how I can wait until August, and I don't want to change surgeons, missing the first two weeks of school will be a nightmare. 

I would accept ANY advice or thoughts this group may have.  Would you wait? Or change surgeons?

Best to all of you,


Bubbles - (6/25/2014 - 8:52pm)


This is YOUR life....not your surgeon's.  YOUR schedule....even if not life YOUR concern...not what is most easily penciled in by your surgeon.  Have you had your sentinel nodes evaluated?  Obviously, this has to be what you are comfortable with.  But, I would not want to wait that long with the diagnosis of melanoma, but even more importantly...I have no patience....whatsoever...with docs who do not put my life first.  Even if that means only my recuperation in time to do what I need to do for my job.  His job is no more important than yours!!!  I would find another doc who could do my surgery sooner.  Of course, everytime you change offices/docs the time frame I wouldn't burn bridges/make cancellations until I knew what I wanted to do....but a consultation would not risk anything and would allow you to check out other options.

Best of luck.  Celeste


5dives - (6/27/2014 - 12:08am)


Thank you for your response. I had just started making calls to look for a new surgeon when the original surgeon's office called to say they found me a slot a month earlier! I go for surgery on July 10. Much better! 




Bubbles - (6/27/2014 - 6:23am)


That's GREAT!!!  I hope you have good family time 'til then, a speedy recovery and a wonderful school year!!!  Will be waiting to hear how it goes!  Yours, Celeste