Ovarian Cancer Expert Forum
Lymph node removal risks
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Lymph node removal risks

IIIC, debulked 95% in January, finished 4 rounds of carbo/taxol.  Having colostomy reversal in 3 days, where Doc will take "second look," biopsies, and he said "remove lymph nodes."  My concern is lymphedema.  My recent PET/CT only showed suspicious right external iliac lymph node (danger area for possible lymphedema?).  My first surgery was emergency (blocked colon) and so doctors left spot on vessel due to worry over bleeding.  So this time, they will take care of it (plan was "chemo should take care of it," what a waste!).  Not one, but two gyn/oncologists always do the surgeries, so I am in excellent care.  My husband thinks I should not ask so many questions...he so much wants the doctors to like me, and is afraid I'll bother them too much with my concerns.  MEN!!

Also, should I have a mesh put it, as my colostomy has a hernia and my omentum is gone?  And thanks for all you do for us here.
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hi there,
you may have had your surgery by now and i hope all went well.
In general, for the kind of surgery you have and will experience, lymphedema is rare.
Lymphedema occurs when the flow of lymph fluid is obstructed.
lymph fluid is the non-blood ('blister fluid') fluid that circulates in the lymphatic channels. These channels parallel all the blood vessels in the body. lymph nodes are connected together along the lymphatic channels.

the lymphatic channels can be obstructed because of surgical removal of the channels and lymph nodes. Obstruction can also occur because of radiation. obstruction can occur because of tumor that is physically compressing the channels.

In ovarian cancer, the most common reason for lymphedema is tumor recurrence.

As far as your hernia. The repair will depend on how big it is. commonly a colostomy hernia can be brought together with stitches alone. hernia repairs are definitely more successful when mesh is used. that is a decision, your surgeon will make at the time of surgery.

As far as being liked by your doctors -we all want that!- it is important to be your own advocate and make sure that you understand. Clear, organized, non repetitive questions are always appreciated by medical providers.

best wishes and good luck
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Yes, I've already had the surgery and am still in the hospital going on eight days now.  There is numbness in upper right thigh (they said due to nerve damage from operation).  NED for now.  Would there be any point to getting 'preventive' lymphatic massage (not covered by insurance), wrapping, etc., or wait to see if lymphoma actually develops, then get doc to order therapy, and get it paid for by insurance?  Am planning on taking Wobezym after discharge (Dr. Murray's book...he said the proteolic enzymes worked best with complex dicongestive therapy (CDT) for this condition.)

Thank you again for all you do.
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