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Surgery question/please help


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Guest Guest1234

Can anyone tell me what goes on during a thorascotomy (sp?) - I am going with someone for a biopsy/section to see what's what with a couple of suspicious things in the lung. I know they do some sort of frozen section or something like that and then decide what to do from there - this doesn't seem to be a video thing but rather a larger incision than that - I would like to know how long the first part of the surgery takes - as I will be waiting and worrying and I can't seem to get an answer - is it a couple of hours or shorter than that before they know if it's malignant? Anyone who has been through this, I would greatly appreciate the informaton. I am a member here under a different name and have been reading and reading but this question hasn't been answered. For confidentiality reasons I am not signed in under my regular name.

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Guest Guest1234

Thanks MHutch - I love that dog. I must be naive - I thought they brought a microscope into the OR and looked at the samples there...I don't know why they aren't doing a less dramatic biopsy - probably location . I hope others will continue to respond to this topic as it will help me get through the day. My heart is with all the others on this board who have been there/done that often more than once.

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I think it is *pretty* fast. When the surgeon described the surgery to us. He said a pathologist is nearby and called in once the samples are ready. They know fairly soon, because based on what lymph nodes have or do not have cancer they either remove the lobe or don't proceed and close everything up

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I would say that would be a good question for the surgeon before surgery.

HOWEVER, when they get in there, they never really know what they are dealing with until they DO go in.

So, it could take an hour or it could take 3 hours or more.

In my case the room where the pathologist was at, was connected to all the surgical rooms. So the walk wasn't that far away and they told me they would know within minutes.

Every hospital is different. Check it out with the surgeon or the surgical team. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

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I can only tell you my experience. My first/second thoro surgery was about 4 hours. This was about from the time they took my in. they cut me once in the front and tried to reach the tumor. Then did a regular front around the side to the back incision. They did the biopsy and my tumor was located in a hard to reach area so they did several samples in the immediate area and then did many lymph nodes. Each sample had to be sent down the hall to pathology (at least in my case) it doesn't take long but if they do lots of samples it takes a while. The next one involved a much longer incision and the surgeon tried for a tumor removal. That one was about 6-7 hours. the surgeon was unable to remove the tumor so they did more lymph node testing and it took time. My pneumonectomy lasted all of about 2 hours. They removed the lung, the tumor and also did some stuff to my heart that had been damaged.

It depends... Some of it depends on where the tumor is located and how easy it is to get to. Also if it is malignant then they may test nodes. If some of them are malignant they may test a bunch. The one surgery I had was scheduled about 7:00am and literally took all day. I wasn't out of surgery till about 5:00, then recovery. I didn't see the person that brought me in that morning till about 10:00 that night.

It could be fairly simple but you may want to pack a lunch just to be safe. :D

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Guest Guest1234

Thanks all for your replies - as 'luck' would have it the surgeon cancelled - anxiety resumes Friday morning when it has been rescheduled. Found this out late yesterday. Bummer.

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