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Cancer and Laparoscopy Cancer and Laparoscopy

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Unread 03-23-2004, 04:41 AM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

Hi All:

I'm schedule for TAH in two days (3.25) I recently asked my DR about the possibility of Laparoscopy. Her assistant said, if I was determined eligible, they would need to reschedule because it would require a second surgeon to help. They do it as a "study."

I have early stage endo cancer...they will be taking out all of my pieces and parts (ovaries still my decision, but I can't get anyone to tell me not to do it.)

Has anyone with cancer ever had it done this way? Do you know if they can get everything out? My doctor will be calling me today to further discuss. It's last minute which makes me a little stressed.

Do you think this is feasible?

Any advice?


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Unread 03-23-2004, 08:42 AM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

losolo --
My surgeon did mine with laparoscopy! I had endometrial cancer (see sig). I don't know if she needed a second surgeon.

They got Everything out. Followed up with radiation to ensure that no 'stray' cells were hanging around.

I wasn't really given the option to keep my ovaries, but I wanted them out so it wasn't a big issue.

I was surprised that laparoscopy was even an option for me, because the regular gyn said she was sure I could ONLY have a TAH. Yay for the gyn/onc/surgeon!

That being said, I don't know if this lymphocele I have is a result of the surgery. Please ask about this during your consultation, as I won't be getting a detailed explanation until Friday. Ask the surgeon, "Is there a risk of developing a lymphocele as a result?" She may just give you a funny look -- she may not even have heard of it -- but you really don't want to develop a lymphocele (pocket of lymphatic fluid).

I really don't know if I have this because she did it laparascopically, or if it's simply because she had to 'mess with' lymph node testing -- or if it's a result of the radiation and not the surgery at all. NOT saying this to scare you!! Not at all! I'm only saying this just in case it was a side-effect of doing the surgery laparascopically.

Very best wishes on your consultation and finding the best possible procedure for your body! Feel free to PM me if you have questions -- I'll be checking back in at least once more today.
Unread 03-23-2004, 09:09 AM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

Hi (((L.))) Surgery showed I had early stage endo cancer so I will share my experience with you. Initially I was dxed with severe hyperplasia with atypia - was considered pre-cancerous but with caveat cannot rule out endo cancer. Given my age and fact I was post-menapausal, hormone therapy had to be ruled out so then I sought the less invasive surgical approach - laproscopic surgery. My new gyn (I had just moved and thus had to find someone fast and thank God my new regular physician recommended her gyn) said she would not do nor recommend a lap. surgery given my dx and explained that if cancer were detected, lymph nodes needed to be looked at/possibly dissected and she wanted to see other parts, etc.; she also said a sterile wash would be needed if cancer were found. Then she topped it all off by saying she would do a vertical vice horizontal incisions so that more parts and particularly all lymph nodes would be easier accessible if I had cancer. She ended by saying she had no problem with my going to someone else if I want to try a lap surgery and would even recommend one to me.
This gyn has 25 plus years of experience, is very well respected and was recommended to me by a doctor who said if she needed surgery they would go to her. She also just stopped teaching at a major university med school last year so is well up on various surgical techniques, etc. Despite these great credentials, stubborn me went for two other opinion - one from a gyn/onc and the other from the head of a major univ gyn department who also is a former head of the gyn society of America- all 3 docs strongly recommeded TAV/BSO and praised my doctor so the answer for me was crystal clear.
My gyn had a gyn/onc assist with the surgery. They found cancer and the gyn/onc did a sterile wash and also reviewed all lymph nodes but did not need to dissect given the location, size, type and early stage of the tumor. I needed no further treatment and only have to go for 6 month check-ups, including paps, for then next several years.
As you will see on this site, the majority of women with cancer or pre-cancer conditions will have their surgery done by a gyn/onc or with a gyn/on on the team as these doctors have the most experience with cancer. It is something you may want to consider. Sorry if the above is not what you preferred to hear. I will keep you in my prayers for an easy surgery and recovery. Blessings, peggiesue
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Unread 03-23-2004, 10:07 AM
same advice

I was dx with endometrial adenocarcinoma. My doctor was certain based on the good biopsy and the pathology report that it was early and that surgery would be the cure. I had the TAH/BSO last year with a vertical incision because she felt it gave her the best view of everything inside and they do a real look see! They did not disect the lymph nodes but looked them over pretty good. My tumor was also up high and was in fact staged 1a. No further treatment.

I think the clue here is when it's all said and done and you are laying around recovering and the cancerhead strikes, you want to make sure you have done everything you could to get a pretty clear dx and knowing that it was all examined and viewed is pretty reassuring when you really need to hear that. My ovaries were not a choice.. but a decision made by the doctor. I'm glad to have it gone. All of it. Good luck. Think down the road... it all heals, and it does get better.
Unread 03-23-2004, 01:35 PM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

In a fair percentage of cases, endometrial cancer that appears to be early stage before surgery turns out to be more advanced at the time of surgery. I had EC and went in thinking I was having a TAH and ended up with a radical hysterectomy, BSO, lymphadenectomy (30 nodes removed) and removal of a block of tissue surrounding the suspect nodes. My gyn-onc said he needed to do a vertical, rather than horizontal, incision so that he could thoroughly examine and sample all necessary specimens.

He found a number of things of concern during the operation, including nodes that were palpably enlarged and a deeply invasive tumor which had invaded through 80% of the thickness of the myometrium. As a result, he ended up doing much more extensive surgery than he anticipated he would have to do going into surgery, because none of the presurgical testing had indicated what he ultimately found during the operation.

Best of luck to you on Thursday!

Unread 03-23-2004, 05:19 PM
Cancer and Laparoscopy


Your advice is well-taken...scares me a little more...I hoped I could do something less invasive...and recover more quickly...but, it sounds like this is not the time to do that.

It also seems that vaginally does not give them the view they need to know absolutely what is going on.

You are my inspiration.

Unread 03-24-2004, 07:38 AM
we are both in columbus

Hello Losolo,

I too am in Columbus. Had my surgery at Riverside. I could share my nightmare with you if you want...make sure you have someone with you in the hospital at all times. That's my advice. Health care is a bit scary these days and while the hospital is supposedly a good one, I had my surgery on a Thursday also, had to spend about 5 hours in recovery because they didn't have a room and finally ended up on a overflow floor that was not good. Make sure you get a bed on the gyn floor. Good luck with your surgery. The waiting is really the hardest. Once you wake up in recovery you'll have a good sense of relief. Please keep me posted!
Unread 03-24-2004, 09:35 AM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

Hi Lori!

I just dropped in for a minute and saw your question. I understand why you might think the Lap would be easier, but personally, I would go ahead with the TAH if that's what your surgeon wants to do. I've had both (my gallbladder was removed several years ago by lap) and quite frankly, the abdominal is not that bad. I think it's far more important for your surgeon to get a good look inside than to worry about a smaller scar or less pain. I had a 10 vertical incision due to huge fibroids and it really wasn't that much worse than the puncture holes from the lap procedure. You will be sore for a while from either procedure, it's inevitable when someone is poking around your insides. Let your surgeon do the procedure he/she feels most comfortable with in your case.

Abdominals have a horror story image, but honestly, they are not that bad as far as healing time and pain are concerned. I never regretted having mine done abdominally. It was a breeze compared to living with the pain and worry I had before the surgery!

Hugs of support,
Unread 03-24-2004, 07:12 PM
Age when dx with endo ca?

I just have a what may seem like a weird question. I noticed that most replies in this thread have been from women who opted for the hysterectomy. How old were you all when you were dx? I'm 34 I was dx in March, although I think I've had either cancer or the precursor (endometrial hyperplasia complex atypical) since October. A CT scan showed "slight prominence". Anyway, I don't have children and I don't think I want to give birth to children but I'm scared to death of a TAH/BSO situation.

I read an article that gives me about a 75% chance of getting rid of this cancer since I'm younger than 40, but, like my doc said, it's a chance you take. (He's very willing to accept our decision, but I think he was "suggesting" the hysterectomy). Anyway, sorry to ramble. Just wanted to know about the questions I mentioned above.

Unread 03-24-2004, 08:02 PM
Cancer and Laparoscopy

BEP --
I noticed that most replies in this thread have been from women who opted for the hysterectomy. How old were you all when you were dx?
I wasn't given a choice about having the hyst, just the option to have it done laparoscopically. I am 42.


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