Discussions By Condition: Cancer

Roller Coaster Ride In Diagnosing/treatment

Posted In: Cancer 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 23, 2006
  • 06:35 PM

You can read my entry at the forum. I was questioning what kinds of surgeons are equipped to deal with Paratid disease and parotidectomies?

I am sitting at my plastic surgeons office and something tells me it isn't about how nice the stitches are when this is all done.

Does ENT surgeons do this and should I haul my butt down to his office with all my papers and films?

I don't understand what is it that you need to determine if something needs radiation, after the Pet shows negative and you didn't get enough from your FNA biopsy for a cytologist to give you a straight up answer. Is surgery the only way and on the table decisions the only answer for whether or not to remove your gland or not.

Why would someone leave in a mass when it doesn't belong there?

Can you help me to at least understand these procedures and who does what best issues?

Thank you,
Jeanie "Beanie"

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2 Replies:

  • Your best bet is an ENT with a background in plastic surgery. Some doctors will perform the surgery, and then have a second doctor do the closing. My personal opinion is that all should be using nerve monitors during surgery. We recommend second and third opinions, so that you are as informed as possible and can pick the best person to do your surgery.Here is a list of questions you can ask doctors as you are "interviewing" for the best one:FROM PATIENTSFORUM.COM'S WEBMASTER:These are my suggestions. Pick and choose as you wish. Remember, you will also be getting a second opinion so you need a method to compare surgeons.Regarding Your DiagnosisIs it benign?What tests will you conduct ahead of time? Fine needle biopsy (FNA), MRI/CT Scan? Why CT vs MRI?I would like to review the findings of the CT Scan and FNA with you. May I read it?Regarding The ProcedureWill the procedure be outpatient or will I need to spend the night? (Outpatient is 23 hours or less)How will you close the wound, sutures, staples, or Dermabond?I copied these photo's from the internet. Which best represents the incision and closing technique you will be using?Will a drain be required?I’m really concerned about what the scar will look like. Do you think plastic surgery will be needed afterwards? Would a muscle overlap be appropriate? What are the risks?Show me where the incision will start and end?Will the procedure be performed under a microscope?Is there any reason you would cut or remove part of the facial nerve? Since you are going to be asleep during the procedure you need to establish what you’re expectations are now.I’m really nervous about the operation. Can you give me something to settle my nerves the day of surgery?I hate needles. How many IV lines will be required? Why? Are they all necessary or are some "just in case?" Will they be applied in the operating room or hours ahead of time? When will they be removed?Regarding The DoctorAre you board certified? Now a days this is almost a dumb question. But lets start with easy questions. If he/she isn’t, get the heck out of there! What did you study during residency? It should be head and neck and he/she should have performed some parotidectomies during that time.Where did you conduct your residency? Consider whether or it it was a reputable medical institution.The following questions may make the doctor uncomfortable, particularly if he or she is young. However, in my opinion experience is the most important thing the surgeon can bring to the operating room. Try not to grill the doctor but be persistent and accept nothing less than a direct answer. How long have you been practicing, not including your residency?How many times and how often have you performed this procedure?Have you ever had patients experience permanent facial nerve damage due to the removal of a benign parotid gland tumor? How many and how long has it been since that has happened?Given what you know of my tumor, size and location, what do you think the chances are of permanent nerve damage? Temporary nerve damage?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 4, 2006
    • 03:49 PM
    • 0
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  • roller coaster is over. found out the doc was not looking deep enough, got a 2nd opinion catscan with contrast,found nodule in thyroid gland, then mri w/contrast, I HAVE THYROID CANCER. AND... PAROTID GLAND TUMORS.SURGERY SCHEDULED. Dec 4th Sloan Kettering . thank you Dr. Jatin Shah, head ontalorogist.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 18, 2006
    • 11:13 PM
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