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WLE / SLNB – what to expect?

Forums General Melanoma Community WLE / SLNB – what to expect?

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      My husband’s WLE/ SLNB is on Wednesday. We’ve been so busy trying to learn about Melanoma in general and to get all the paperwork, preop stuff done in time to have it on this date (as the doctor’s next available date wasn’t until month end), that we haven’t focused on the procedure itself.

      WLE is on his cheek so SLNB will be somewhere in neck.   What kind of pain level is there after surgery and how long does it last?  How long  before you all were able to go back to work (desk work)?

      How many of you were same day and how many of you were admitted to the hospital? (they said they were booking a bed in case it was needed but that he might be released).

      We are driving several hours for the surgery. I booked a local hotel so that we won’t have to travel back the same day (if he is discharged same day). Does that seem like enough time or will be be uncomfortable with a 3 1/2  hour car trip the next day.

      Any other tips or advice?

      Thank you!

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          Hi JD_NY,

          For me, the dye injection on my nose to locate the SLNs hurt but that was brief. I was under anesthesia for the WLE and SLNB, same day surgery, and had no pain afterwards. I took the next day off from work mainly to recover from anesthesia, but was able to work after that as I did work from home and didn’t need to see people. That was good because I had a temporary graft on my nose for 10 days before I went back on a Friday for the skin graft. That was done on a Friday and I was able to go back to work on Monday, working from home. Little to no pain at all.

          Best wishes on his recovery and hoping for good biopsy results.

          Cindy K

            Hi JD_NY,

            I’m sorry you and your husband are going down this road. I had a WLE and SNB done about 7 years ago. What I remember most in terms of pain is the injections under the skin to locate the SNB. I feels like a sting or burn but is gone quickly. I think I had 4 injections. Pain associated with the WLE probably depends on the location and size of incision as well as pain tolerance. Mine was on my back near the bra line and about 8 inches long. I remember having some pain there while sleeping and getting in and out of bed but didn’t need to take anything for it other than Motrin. I ended up have a complete lymph node dissection under my right arm shortly after so I did not go back to work after the WLE and SNB but I think I would’ve needed a few days off of work to recover.
            Good luck! I hope everything goes well.

              Hi JD,

              I had an SLNB on my left leg.  Some pain upon injection and very low pain afterward.  I was home the same day.  Hospitalization was never discussed prior to the procedure.  Kust speculating, but perhaps because your husband’s procedure is on his neck might make hospitalization slightly more likley?  If you’re concerned bout whether one might might be sufficient, you can always book two nights  with the hotel and cancel the second (not sure this works with Priceline, Expedia, etc, but reserving through a Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt directly would enable you to cancel the second night as long as you do it by the next morning prior to check-out time.

              Best of luck to your husband.




              Danielle T
                The WLE area will be very sore especially the first couple of days. I was able to return to work quickly from home. With this being on his face, it would be beneficial if he could work from home until the stitches are out. Make sure you keep the WLE site moist to reduce scarring with the antibiotic you are given and then vasoline.
                good luck tomorrow
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