Nov 14, 2012 - 5:17 pm
Hi All. I am KTeacher's sister. I am reporting to you on her surgery, which occured last Thursday, and her recovery from same.
The oncologist removed her eye and much tissue surrounding the eye and orbit area. He followed the optic nerve back as far as he could.
Reconstruction surgery went great. The microvascular plastic surgeon moved alot of fat from her arm into the void made from the removal of the eye, took a vein from the underside of her arm to reconnect the blood supply, and took a piece of skin from her arm and made a "flap graft", almond-shaped, to cover where her eye was. He then took a piece of skin from her thigh to cover the spot on her arm. At the point on the thigh they were able to just pull it together. They said she withstood all well.
Report on the cancer removal not so good. Doc followed the optic nerve all the way back to her skull and never found "clean margins". Took out as much diseased tissue and nerve as he could. We will not really know the results, though, until pathology comes back. Hoping to "zap with a pinpoint" with radiation the spot where the optic nerve goes into the skull and "scatter it" around her cheeks. Might not ever know if the cancer is radiation resistant, was missed by previous radiation, or what. Still don't know whether or not they will do chemo.
The first 72 hours are critical in watching the graft over where her eye was. They had her in a special unit and monitored the graft every hour. There is a 90% success rate on the flap graft, blood clots and infection being the main issues to watch for. She is expected to be in the hospital for one week.
On Saturday they decided the graft was swelling too much and full of blood. The doctor removed sutures under the graft and inserted a tube into the eye socket to drain. He removed a few blood clots that were starting. They left the graft open, to drain, until Tuesday. It was resewn and all looks well.
Her arm was initially put into a cast. It was removed today and is in a brace, to inhibit movement, but removeable so she can put ointment on it and keep it moist.
She is healing very well. So well, in fact, that they sent her home (to my house, which is closer to the hospital) today. She will rest, heal, be treated with TLC, and go back to see the microvascular plastic surgeon on Tuesday. It is our understanding that she will be given the pathology report at that time. The preliminary plan is to do radiation (again) with the hope that this time it will get rid of the nasty cells.
Will update when there is anything to report. She sends her hellos to you all.