Surgery details – Second appt with Dr Ahrendt

These are the notes I took during my appt with Dr. Ahrendt this morning:

How long is the surgery?
10-12 hours

How long in hospital?
4 nights, 5 days

If it’s in the lymph nodes, will I need other treatment?
Will do a sentinel node biopsy; will reduce the risk of lymphodema as much as possible

If it’s in three places, doesn’t that mean it’s spread? Or all those all considered in situ?
upper outer portion in a band of 13 centimeters (usually it’s smaller than that) – higher risk of more invasive cancer – no mass or tumor shown – still will be early and not likely to to involve lymph nodes – she thinks it’s very unlikely that I would need chemo; probably no radiation either (my mother pointed out later that the doctor also said it was unlikely the biopsy would be malignant, but hopefully these odds are easier to predict).

Is the methotrexate ok to keep taking?
No, stop taking it. Stay away from anti-inflammatories as well a week prior to surgery.

Will I need a breathing tube?
Yes

Stitches or staples? Removal?
Dr. Gimbel does all of that – he will probably use dissolvable stitches

How long for the drains?
Will be up to Dr. Gimbel – usually the breast ones come out a week or so, abdominal might be longer

Should I give my own blood before the surgery?
Not necessary – do not do it because she doesn’t want me to be anemic at the time of surgery

Hormonal effects?
Most likely no – Not like ovaries

Can I drink between now and then? Anything else I should lay off of between now and then? Caffeine?
Ask Dr. Gimbel about caffeine. Drinking in moderation

Pain in breasts since biopsy
Normal

Dr Gimbel will be responsible for my care after the surgery – in terms of when I can drive, what I can manage physically, etc

Stay healthy – protein is healthy for healing – exercise

Walking two days after surgery – won’t send me home until I’m independently walking down the hall

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