- August 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Please make sure you see the oncologist BEFORE you have the wide excision. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. You need to have a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SNB) PRIOR to the wide excision. The SNB checks the first lymph node in the drainage path to see if any melanoma cells have traveled there. If you have the wide excision first, the extra tissue removal may alter the lymph drainage path and the SNB could be compromised. Right now, you are in limbo in terms of staging. You need the SNB and the wide excision to see what's next. It's hard to say that "everything is okay". It may be. It may not be. Much depends on the results of the surgical procedures and staging. In fact, if your dermatologist is scheduled to do the wide excision, I'd probably just cancel that. You want a surgeon to do the SNB. You will be put under general anesthetic at the time. They do the SNB first, and then will do the wide excision after the SNB while you are asleep. Two birds with one general anesthetic. It would also be good if the oncologist you are seeing is a melanoma specialist instead of just a general oncologist.
Hang in there, but talk to an oncologist FIRST!