Complications after SNB

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    • #11637
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Looking for input. My husband had wide excision of melanoma on calf and SNB mid-Sept. Margins and lymph nodes were clear. Recovery was going well till Nov. Swelling in groin, seroma, cellulitis, IV antibiotics for 2 weeks. Felt good! Now (Jan.) family doctor has diagnosed a hematoma. Being treated with oral antibiotics. Feeling crummy. Have other patients had this experience? Trying to keep perspective as news after surgery was such a relief.

    • #11688
      Annette Cyr
      Participant

      Hello and thanks for your posting. It certainly must be difficult and frustrating and a it scary too to be dealing with all of these post-surgical complications. And yes, quite common unfortunately. It is particularly bad for patients with melanoma on the leg, as the lymph node basin is right in the groin, which is a warm, moist area with lots of muscles and movement and also chance for bacteria and infections, which are quite common.I know quite a few that have had cellulitis (including me) and also contracted cdifficile (me as well) and I do know others that had MRSA, infections or blockages of the drains etc. It is frustrating to say the least, as you are dealing with a diagnosis and then all of these other challenges on top of that. It is very positive that his surgical results came back with no evidence of disease in the lymph nodes – that is really what you want to hear. All the other stuff will get better with time. He may continue to have soreness and swelling in the area for some time and may also have permanent loss of feeling/sensation where the nodes have been removed, which is normal. Just have to be on guard for swelling and redness to ensure no further infection.

      Are they recommending anything else at this time or just follow ups?

    • #11697
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for your response, Annette. At this time, the recommendation is for follow ups every 6 months-CT scan in March. He scheduled an appt with the surgical oncologist who took the lymph nodes to see what can be done to minimize complications. Wondering if anyone here has experience with preventative treatments such as lymphatic massage or compression garments or other.

    • #11698
      Annette Cyr
      Participant

      Hi again – I did take preventative measures for lymphedema as the number of surgeries I had had created considerable swelling in my leg – so much so, I couldn’t get my shoes on!I thought I was going to have to live in crocs for the rest of my life. If he hasn’t had the full groin dissection (which I assume is the case as he was fortunate to have no evidence of disease in the nodes removed in the SNB), the likelihood of lymphedema is pretty remote. People are more likely to experience it when all of those lovely little pumping and filtering stations have been removed. That said, we have a great booklet on our website here that talks about lymphedema and prevention strategies. I had gone to see a lymphatic drainage specialist (a massage therapist trained specifically in lymph drainage techniques) and she worked on my leg for several months and also wrapped it with specific bandaging and showed me how to maintain that. As well, I had a customised compression stocking made for me, which I wore pretty diligently for the first while (I never need it now), and purchased special order compression socks to keep the fluid out of my foot and ankle. The big stocking was heavy and uncomfortable but really helped for the first while. I still wear the socks which go to my knee when flying to prevent swelling. I have some lymphedema which is permanent, but manageable. I have been fortunate. Others I know have not been so lucky after the full dissection and have severe lifelong problems with it. Good preventative strategies are also to keep the weight off (do not carry excess pounds as that creates problems, and for a lot of other health issues) and exercise regularly to keep the fluid and blood flowing. If you can’t locate the booklet on our site – should be under patient resources, just email me acyr@melanomanetwork.ca and I will email to you.

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