- August 5, 2010 at 5:20 am
I will confirm what the others are saying. You'll probably have a wide local excision (WLE) since it looks like you had a shave biopsy. You have 4 risk factor which will lead the surgeon to recommend a sentinel node biopsy(SNB). Those are Breslow Depth > 1mm, Clark level of III or greater, high mitotic rate and ulceration. This is a time to stay calm and learn about the condition. Understand that only about 20% of patients who have a sentinel node biopsy will show melanoma in the regional lymph node. That means you have an 80% chance of having clear nodes. That is what I hope for you. The morbidity (adverse side effects) of a complete lymph node dissection is significant. Patients can sometimes suffer from lymphedema afterwards. It is controversial even if the SNB is positive whether to have a complete lymph node excision of the regional nodes.
Stay strong. Stay calm. Hopefully things will not go beyond the SNB. It is a simple outpatient surgery that has very few complications