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Recovery time for groin lymph node removal

Forums General Melanoma Community Recovery time for groin lymph node removal

  • Post
    churchwelldana
    Participant

     

    I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. I've had a SNB and one of the lymph nodes was positve for cancer. Now they will 
    remove all the remaining lymph nodes from my groin. The nurse said the typical recovery time would be 4 weeks. Is that accurate? I'm a fourth grade school teacher and I was wondering when I might feel like returning to work.

     

    I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. I've had a SNB and one of the lymph nodes was positve for cancer. Now they will 
    remove all the remaining lymph nodes from my groin. The nurse said the typical recovery time would be 4 weeks. Is that accurate? I'm a fourth grade school teacher and I was wondering when I might feel like returning to work.
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  • Replies
      ChristineL
      Participant

      Sorry you have to be here.  At least on this board you will get some honest answers.  As to recovery time, it depends on several factors.  I had mine done about 6 weeks ago, and still have issues with sitting for more than 30 mins at a time  (I blame the scar tissue which I am working on).  I have a sit-down job, and so am working from home on my couch.  Others on this board were building decks at week 4.  A friend of mine still has her drain in at week 4 and is working from home as well. 

      I think it also depends on your health, age, and the surgery itself.  Some surgeons will move the sartorius muscle (which will increase amount of healing time needed) and will remove as much tissue as possible, others will operate slightly differently.  My surgeon wanted me up and walking within 2 days of the surgery, while others say no walking until the drain comes out.  Standing for long periods is also generally frowned upon.

      Your best bet is to discuss with your surgeon exactly how he/she will proceed, and ask lots of questions.  I hope this helps, and I'm sure you will get lots of info from this bulletin board.  Also, please feel free to email me.

      Fight like hell,

      ChristineL

      Stage IIIb

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        Thank you very much. This has all been a lot to take in so quickly. I go to the cancer clinic Monday afternoon to discuss my next steps as far as scans and treatment. My surgeon will then set a date for my next surgery. I wasn't expecting it to be so involved since my SNB was a piece of cake (especially compared to my skin graft and the grand canyon sized hole above my knee)!

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        Thank you very much. This has all been a lot to take in so quickly. I go to the cancer clinic Monday afternoon to discuss my next steps as far as scans and treatment. My surgeon will then set a date for my next surgery. I wasn't expecting it to be so involved since my SNB was a piece of cake (especially compared to my skin graft and the grand canyon sized hole above my knee)!

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        mauiskye1
        Participant

        Aloha ChristineL. Wanted to send huge mahalos for posting the above.  I ignored a lump in right groin until the point that it broke 'open' when I bumped it. A 30 year MD friend of mine looked at it and recommended immediate surgery. Within 2 weeks we were able to line up one of the best surgeons on the island for which I am extremely grateful.  My hesitation in initially have it looked at was lack of insurance and not having a clue that 'it' might be cancer.  Amazingly Medicare and a state program called Quest took care of all of the expenses, including outpatient and presecription. Maintianing a constant vigil of the JP bulb has been the biggest challenge.  Having not been given an antibiotic prescription immediately after surgery concerned me, but once started healing has been rapid.  

        There have been ups and downs. I am single and live by myself, so eliciting the help of friends to do laundry, grocery shopping has been practically and emotionally helpful. Knowing that this is a 4 week recovery process is very helpful.  Before this event, I had never taken a prescription drug in my life other than for dental procedures.  Holistic practices have worked for everything else, fortunately. A full PT scan will let me know if I am affected in other areas.

        Information given to me on use of Frankincense Oil that has no known side affects and many reports of use by German doctors for brain cancer encourged me to try this on a small double lump in left groin area. I have used this for only 4 days and have noticed a decrease in size, so am going to continue with the FO treatment. I am using a large flexible bandaid and soaking the pad of it with FO and leaving it there. It has been reported that stage 4 ovarian cancer has been removed in about six months time.  It certainly can't hurt to continue with this. I plan to continue the medical approach as an option at the same time and will report results to you in near future. 

        I need to get back to resting (library is my new friend) and get away from computer.  Hopefully this info will be of help to others.  Who would even suspect that melanoma can affect the groin area. My encouragement is when doubt, have it checked out and don't wait as long as I did. 

        Blessing to All,   Skye

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        mauiskye1
        Participant

        Aloha ChristineL. Wanted to send huge mahalos for posting the above.  I ignored a lump in right groin until the point that it broke 'open' when I bumped it. A 30 year MD friend of mine looked at it and recommended immediate surgery. Within 2 weeks we were able to line up one of the best surgeons on the island for which I am extremely grateful.  My hesitation in initially have it looked at was lack of insurance and not having a clue that 'it' might be cancer.  Amazingly Medicare and a state program called Quest took care of all of the expenses, including outpatient and presecription. Maintianing a constant vigil of the JP bulb has been the biggest challenge.  Having not been given an antibiotic prescription immediately after surgery concerned me, but once started healing has been rapid.  

        There have been ups and downs. I am single and live by myself, so eliciting the help of friends to do laundry, grocery shopping has been practically and emotionally helpful. Knowing that this is a 4 week recovery process is very helpful.  Before this event, I had never taken a prescription drug in my life other than for dental procedures.  Holistic practices have worked for everything else, fortunately. A full PT scan will let me know if I am affected in other areas.

        Information given to me on use of Frankincense Oil that has no known side affects and many reports of use by German doctors for brain cancer encourged me to try this on a small double lump in left groin area. I have used this for only 4 days and have noticed a decrease in size, so am going to continue with the FO treatment. I am using a large flexible bandaid and soaking the pad of it with FO and leaving it there. It has been reported that stage 4 ovarian cancer has been removed in about six months time.  It certainly can't hurt to continue with this. I plan to continue the medical approach as an option at the same time and will report results to you in near future. 

        I need to get back to resting (library is my new friend) and get away from computer.  Hopefully this info will be of help to others.  Who would even suspect that melanoma can affect the groin area. My encouragement is when doubt, have it checked out and don't wait as long as I did. 

        Blessing to All,   Skye

        Loading spinner
        mauiskye1
        Participant

        Aloha ChristineL. Wanted to send huge mahalos for posting the above.  I ignored a lump in right groin until the point that it broke 'open' when I bumped it. A 30 year MD friend of mine looked at it and recommended immediate surgery. Within 2 weeks we were able to line up one of the best surgeons on the island for which I am extremely grateful.  My hesitation in initially have it looked at was lack of insurance and not having a clue that 'it' might be cancer.  Amazingly Medicare and a state program called Quest took care of all of the expenses, including outpatient and presecription. Maintianing a constant vigil of the JP bulb has been the biggest challenge.  Having not been given an antibiotic prescription immediately after surgery concerned me, but once started healing has been rapid.  

        There have been ups and downs. I am single and live by myself, so eliciting the help of friends to do laundry, grocery shopping has been practically and emotionally helpful. Knowing that this is a 4 week recovery process is very helpful.  Before this event, I had never taken a prescription drug in my life other than for dental procedures.  Holistic practices have worked for everything else, fortunately. A full PT scan will let me know if I am affected in other areas.

        Information given to me on use of Frankincense Oil that has no known side affects and many reports of use by German doctors for brain cancer encourged me to try this on a small double lump in left groin area. I have used this for only 4 days and have noticed a decrease in size, so am going to continue with the FO treatment. I am using a large flexible bandaid and soaking the pad of it with FO and leaving it there. It has been reported that stage 4 ovarian cancer has been removed in about six months time.  It certainly can't hurt to continue with this. I plan to continue the medical approach as an option at the same time and will report results to you in near future. 

        I need to get back to resting (library is my new friend) and get away from computer.  Hopefully this info will be of help to others.  Who would even suspect that melanoma can affect the groin area. My encouragement is when doubt, have it checked out and don't wait as long as I did. 

        Blessing to All,   Skye

        Loading spinner
      ChristineL
      Participant

      Sorry you have to be here.  At least on this board you will get some honest answers.  As to recovery time, it depends on several factors.  I had mine done about 6 weeks ago, and still have issues with sitting for more than 30 mins at a time  (I blame the scar tissue which I am working on).  I have a sit-down job, and so am working from home on my couch.  Others on this board were building decks at week 4.  A friend of mine still has her drain in at week 4 and is working from home as well. 

      I think it also depends on your health, age, and the surgery itself.  Some surgeons will move the sartorius muscle (which will increase amount of healing time needed) and will remove as much tissue as possible, others will operate slightly differently.  My surgeon wanted me up and walking within 2 days of the surgery, while others say no walking until the drain comes out.  Standing for long periods is also generally frowned upon.

      Your best bet is to discuss with your surgeon exactly how he/she will proceed, and ask lots of questions.  I hope this helps, and I'm sure you will get lots of info from this bulletin board.  Also, please feel free to email me.

      Fight like hell,

      ChristineL

      Stage IIIb

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      Springbok
      Participant

      Chuchweldana,

      I don't want to sound like a broken record.(I have given this response to another poster), but please grill your onc on the need for a general lymph node disection. There is increasing speculation that it may not improve the progosis of stage 3 patients, and the chance of lymphodema is about 50%, I believe.

       

      best of luck

       

      Springbok

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      Springbok
      Participant

      Chuchweldana,

      I don't want to sound like a broken record.(I have given this response to another poster), but please grill your onc on the need for a general lymph node disection. There is increasing speculation that it may not improve the progosis of stage 3 patients, and the chance of lymphodema is about 50%, I believe.

       

      best of luck

       

      Springbok

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        ChristineL
        Participant

        I concur with Springbok about questioning the need, which is why there is a trial currently recruiting which has some patients undergoing lymphadenectomy and some doing watch and wait.  I have been told varying numbers for lymphedema (from 7% to 30%), but again, these are just stats.  A lot of this depends on age, weight, health, etc., and if it happens, the degree to which it may affect your life depends on your lifestyle.  It may also depend on the surgeon (why I went with someone who does this a lot vs. my local surgical oncologist who did my SNB).  It's a very serious decision/choice.  Get as much info as possible!

        Best,

        ChristineL

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        ChristineL
        Participant

        I concur with Springbok about questioning the need, which is why there is a trial currently recruiting which has some patients undergoing lymphadenectomy and some doing watch and wait.  I have been told varying numbers for lymphedema (from 7% to 30%), but again, these are just stats.  A lot of this depends on age, weight, health, etc., and if it happens, the degree to which it may affect your life depends on your lifestyle.  It may also depend on the surgeon (why I went with someone who does this a lot vs. my local surgical oncologist who did my SNB).  It's a very serious decision/choice.  Get as much info as possible!

        Best,

        ChristineL

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      Nicky
      Participant

      Hi, I had a lymph node dissection about 10 years ago, Stage IIIb NED, I don't know if methods have changed since then, but I remember it took me a good six weeks to properly heal and get over the surgery.  I did have some lymphoedema which meant that they took a long time to remove the drain from me as there was so much fluid.  Everyone is different, so hopefully it will just take 3-4 weeks as the nurse says but I would still allow yourself at least six weeks if you are able to just in case you have some lymphatic or healing problems.  My patnet is under Nicky.

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      Nicky
      Participant

      Hi, I had a lymph node dissection about 10 years ago, Stage IIIb NED, I don't know if methods have changed since then, but I remember it took me a good six weeks to properly heal and get over the surgery.  I did have some lymphoedema which meant that they took a long time to remove the drain from me as there was so much fluid.  Everyone is different, so hopefully it will just take 3-4 weeks as the nurse says but I would still allow yourself at least six weeks if you are able to just in case you have some lymphatic or healing problems.  My patnet is under Nicky.

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        Laurie from maine
        Participant

        Hi,

        I had lymph nodes removed from my right groin.  They did not take all of them, are you sure they are taking all of yours or just ones that are effected?     It took me a month to fully recover.  Mine took a long time because to get at the tumor that was in lymph nodes,  they had to cut muscle and nerves, not sure if that is what most people go thru.  So recovery involved getting muscle back to working 100%.    I had the scar tissue lump for almost 6 months or more and that did bother me a lot when I sat.    I dont have lymphdema, but do wear compression stocking when my leg feels sore or tight and walk alot.  good luck

        laurie from maine 

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        They already took 3, 2 of which were SN. One came up positive for cancer (a very small amount). I believe he said they would take 5 to 7 more, a preventive measure I believe. I have an appointment tomorrow at a cancer clinic. They will set up tests to see if cancer has spread anywhere else. My blood work and chest X-ray looked good. It seems like the steps they are taking now are to limit the possibility of reoccurrence.

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        They already took 3, 2 of which were SN. One came up positive for cancer (a very small amount). I believe he said they would take 5 to 7 more, a preventive measure I believe. I have an appointment tomorrow at a cancer clinic. They will set up tests to see if cancer has spread anywhere else. My blood work and chest X-ray looked good. It seems like the steps they are taking now are to limit the possibility of reoccurrence.

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        Laurie from maine
        Participant

        Hi,

        I had lymph nodes removed from my right groin.  They did not take all of them, are you sure they are taking all of yours or just ones that are effected?     It took me a month to fully recover.  Mine took a long time because to get at the tumor that was in lymph nodes,  they had to cut muscle and nerves, not sure if that is what most people go thru.  So recovery involved getting muscle back to working 100%.    I had the scar tissue lump for almost 6 months or more and that did bother me a lot when I sat.    I dont have lymphdema, but do wear compression stocking when my leg feels sore or tight and walk alot.  good luck

        laurie from maine 

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      mwilson
      Participant

      Hi,

      I am reading all these posis.  I'm in the same boat that you were in last year.  Seeing an oncologist tomorrow.  They found one cell in the SLN and the surgeon has recommended removal of the rest of the lymph nodes in the right groin.

      Have you had any problems since the removal of the lymph nodes? 

       

      I am really worried.

       

      Michele

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      mwilson
      Participant

      Hi,

      I am reading all these posis.  I'm in the same boat that you were in last year.  Seeing an oncologist tomorrow.  They found one cell in the SLN and the surgeon has recommended removal of the rest of the lymph nodes in the right groin.

      Have you had any problems since the removal of the lymph nodes? 

       

      I am really worried.

       

      Michele

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        Sorry you have to go through all this. I haven't had any problems with my surgeries. The worst part of the lymph node removal was having the drain. I hope all goes well with you.

        Dana

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        churchwelldana
        Participant

        Sorry you have to go through all this. I haven't had any problems with my surgeries. The worst part of the lymph node removal was having the drain. I hope all goes well with you.

        Dana

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        ryazzie
        Participant

        Hi Michele, so how did the surgery turn out?  I had just went through a complete lymph node dissection in my left groin.  Everything went well but a week later after my follow-up I had the drain removed, but came down with a fever and the wound developed an infection.  It's been 3 days now on antibiotics, no pain, just antibiotics.

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        ryazzie
        Participant

        Hi Michele, so how did the surgery turn out?  I had just went through a complete lymph node dissection in my left groin.  Everything went well but a week later after my follow-up I had the drain removed, but came down with a fever and the wound developed an infection.  It's been 3 days now on antibiotics, no pain, just antibiotics.

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        ryazzie
        Participant

        Hi Michele, so how did the surgery turn out?  I had just went through a complete lymph node dissection in my left groin.  Everything went well but a week later after my follow-up I had the drain removed, but came down with a fever and the wound developed an infection.  It's been 3 days now on antibiotics, no pain, just antibiotics.

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      librarian_doug
      Participant

      Hello,

      This thread is a bit old but it fits my description exactly so am sending out a question.

      I'm Stage 3B, had the wide area excision and SNB, with one positive node. I am getting differing opinions on further lymph node removal but the consensus still seems to be that it is the right thing to do.

      I have been referred to a large urban melanoma clinic (I live in the sticks) and have yet to discuss details of the surgery with the doctors.

      So, a very simple question: Is this done as an inpatient or an outpatient? Since I have to have it done away from my home, doing this as an inpatient presents some logistical issues.

      Thank you. 

      Loading spinner
      librarian_doug
      Participant

      Hello,

      This thread is a bit old but it fits my description exactly so am sending out a question.

      I'm Stage 3B, had the wide area excision and SNB, with one positive node. I am getting differing opinions on further lymph node removal but the consensus still seems to be that it is the right thing to do.

      I have been referred to a large urban melanoma clinic (I live in the sticks) and have yet to discuss details of the surgery with the doctors.

      So, a very simple question: Is this done as an inpatient or an outpatient? Since I have to have it done away from my home, doing this as an inpatient presents some logistical issues.

      Thank you. 

      Loading spinner
        BrianP
        Participant

        Doug,

        I had the lymph nodes removed from my left armpit and it was definitely inpatient.  I believe the groin is even slightly more invasive so you can definitely plan on inpatient.  It's been a few years but I think I spent at least 2 nights in the hospital.  I was pretty sore afterwards.  Had a drain installed for about 10 days. 

        Your comment about having the lymph nodes removed "still being the right move" is an interesting one.  I'm sure it's still considered the "standard" procedure and per the current text book on how to treat melanoma but there are some beginning to question the benefits vs. risk.  I'll see if I can find a study I remember seeing a while back.  Maybe someone else will remember it and post.  I think it was a study where instead of removing the lymph nodes they took a watch and wait approach with periodic ultra sounds for early detection. 

        Brian

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        BrianP
        Participant

        Doug,

        I had the lymph nodes removed from my left armpit and it was definitely inpatient.  I believe the groin is even slightly more invasive so you can definitely plan on inpatient.  It's been a few years but I think I spent at least 2 nights in the hospital.  I was pretty sore afterwards.  Had a drain installed for about 10 days. 

        Your comment about having the lymph nodes removed "still being the right move" is an interesting one.  I'm sure it's still considered the "standard" procedure and per the current text book on how to treat melanoma but there are some beginning to question the benefits vs. risk.  I'll see if I can find a study I remember seeing a while back.  Maybe someone else will remember it and post.  I think it was a study where instead of removing the lymph nodes they took a watch and wait approach with periodic ultra sounds for early detection. 

        Brian

        Loading spinner
        Emcjones1
        Participant

        Brian 

        You are thinking about the MSLT I study results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine 

        the N Engl J Med 2014 Feb 13; 370:599-609

        the preliminary data for the MSLT II study, which just stopped enrolling patients in April so there isn't much in the way of data yet. 

        Loading spinner
        Emcjones1
        Participant

        Brian 

        You are thinking about the MSLT I study results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine 

        the N Engl J Med 2014 Feb 13; 370:599-609

        the preliminary data for the MSLT II study, which just stopped enrolling patients in April so there isn't much in the way of data yet. 

        Loading spinner
        Emcjones1
        Participant

        Brian 

        You are thinking about the MSLT I study results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine 

        the N Engl J Med 2014 Feb 13; 370:599-609

        the preliminary data for the MSLT II study, which just stopped enrolling patients in April so there isn't much in the way of data yet. 

        Loading spinner
        librarian_doug
        Participant

        Thank you, Brian, for your information. I saw two melanoma specialists in the closest major urban area to us, one who recommended "watch and wait" and one that recommended the surgery. I've decided to go with the surgery, as I don't think I could live with "watch and wait." The waiting would be too anxiety-producing.

        The surgeon said probably 2 nights in the hospital but I've read that some patients require up to 8. The surgeon said that because I'm not obese, fit, male and relatively young the risk of complication is quite low.

        I've found many studies questioning the benefit of lymph node dissection but until "the" major study (MLST 2, I believe it's called) is completed, the surgery is still the "standard of care."

        Thank you again,

        Doug

        Loading spinner
        librarian_doug
        Participant

        Thank you, Brian, for your information. I saw two melanoma specialists in the closest major urban area to us, one who recommended "watch and wait" and one that recommended the surgery. I've decided to go with the surgery, as I don't think I could live with "watch and wait." The waiting would be too anxiety-producing.

        The surgeon said probably 2 nights in the hospital but I've read that some patients require up to 8. The surgeon said that because I'm not obese, fit, male and relatively young the risk of complication is quite low.

        I've found many studies questioning the benefit of lymph node dissection but until "the" major study (MLST 2, I believe it's called) is completed, the surgery is still the "standard of care."

        Thank you again,

        Doug

        Loading spinner
        librarian_doug
        Participant

        Thank you, Brian, for your information. I saw two melanoma specialists in the closest major urban area to us, one who recommended "watch and wait" and one that recommended the surgery. I've decided to go with the surgery, as I don't think I could live with "watch and wait." The waiting would be too anxiety-producing.

        The surgeon said probably 2 nights in the hospital but I've read that some patients require up to 8. The surgeon said that because I'm not obese, fit, male and relatively young the risk of complication is quite low.

        I've found many studies questioning the benefit of lymph node dissection but until "the" major study (MLST 2, I believe it's called) is completed, the surgery is still the "standard of care."

        Thank you again,

        Doug

        Loading spinner
        BrianP
        Participant

        Doug,

        I had the lymph nodes removed from my left armpit and it was definitely inpatient.  I believe the groin is even slightly more invasive so you can definitely plan on inpatient.  It's been a few years but I think I spent at least 2 nights in the hospital.  I was pretty sore afterwards.  Had a drain installed for about 10 days. 

        Your comment about having the lymph nodes removed "still being the right move" is an interesting one.  I'm sure it's still considered the "standard" procedure and per the current text book on how to treat melanoma but there are some beginning to question the benefits vs. risk.  I'll see if I can find a study I remember seeing a while back.  Maybe someone else will remember it and post.  I think it was a study where instead of removing the lymph nodes they took a watch and wait approach with periodic ultra sounds for early detection. 

        Brian

        Loading spinner
      librarian_doug
      Participant

      Hello,

      This thread is a bit old but it fits my description exactly so am sending out a question.

      I'm Stage 3B, had the wide area excision and SNB, with one positive node. I am getting differing opinions on further lymph node removal but the consensus still seems to be that it is the right thing to do.

      I have been referred to a large urban melanoma clinic (I live in the sticks) and have yet to discuss details of the surgery with the doctors.

      So, a very simple question: Is this done as an inpatient or an outpatient? Since I have to have it done away from my home, doing this as an inpatient presents some logistical issues.

      Thank you. 

      Loading spinner
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