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We're going to a teaching hospital for surgery next Monday!!!!

Nana2's picture
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 2010

A week from tomorrow, Jim goes for liver surgery at Loyola hospital. He had his colon surgery done on March 17th at Provena St. Joseph in Joliet, and after being told that liver surgery was not possible because of both the right and left lobe having lesions, we opted for a second opinion. The surgeon who did the colon surgery told us that during exploratory of the liver while Jim was open, that he found at least three other lesions, none of which measured more than 1 cm on the left. One of which was near the falciform ligament, one on the undersurface of the liver laterally and one near the diaphgagm. When we went to Loyola where we saw Dr. Margo Schoup, she requested CT scan and informed us that the left lobe is clear and that Jim IS in fact a candidate for surgery which is scheduled for May 3. We have our questions of course, like why did the first Doctor tell us surgery was not possible...there is cancer in both lobes. And then Dr. Schoup told us that according to the CT scan the left is fine and when they do the surgery to remove his right lobe, they will do an ultrasound and IF any other lesions do show up, they will take care of it with microwave ablation. I guess either way we feel that this is his best chance of survival. The only option we were being given out here is that he would continue strong chemo until he either couldn't tolerate it any longer, or it quit working on the tumors.
Our surgeon at Loyola is the associate professor of Surgery Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology Department of Surgery (whatever all that means) and I think we're going to go for it. She told us her goal is to get him cancer free. That was a pretty hopeful thought!
We are both scared either way and hope (and I pray) we are making the right choices.
Can anyone tell us what to expect after surgery? Recoup time etc? He still is so sore and so fatigued from his last surgery he is pretty nervous about what this one will do to him. We want to try and be prepared.
Thanks for your input and advise in advance :)


krf's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2009

DUring the liver portion of ROger's surgery last week (Cytoreduction, HIPEC, Colon resection, colostomy takedown, Ileostomy , and liver) the radiologist was in their with Dr. Shen using ultrasound to scan every part of liver. The residents told me it was very slow and methodical. Dr. Shen cut out the the largest mets and used RFA on the smaller ones. It sounded very thorough! I can't speak to healing, etc., because of all the other aspects of Roger's surgery.
Good luck- gotta love a goal of cancer free!


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

How exciting for you, liver resection, that is the gold standard towards cure. There is a member on here, Pluckey, who is now recouperating from liver surgery done at Sloan and is now set to start her "mop up" chemo. Some docs say resection not possible while others say yes, seen this happen before, maybe they see it different, have a different skill level, who knows. I have seen this question before.

If you send her a PM, or maybe she will see this, she may be able to give you some guidance as to what to expect.

Take care and good luck - Tina

KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

I had a liver resection 2 years ago.
the surgery was rough,painful for a couple weeks
in ICU 3 days,but my liver remains clear.
( a couple mets other places but none in liver)

Nana2's picture
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 2010

Is there anything that can help with the fatigue he is feeling?

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi april-

Please tell Dr. Schoup "Hi from Peggy Luckey" and that she needs to come see me in chemo on Tuesdays!

I am about 5 weeks post liver resection- I stayed in the hospital for 7 days after surgery.

Jim will be very very sore at incision site- it's a long cut in the torso. I felt like a truck rolled over me, but each day gets better. The week after my surgery my surgeon ordered me to get out and tour New York...walk walk walk...it was slow and challenging, but I did. Oh, sneezing and coughing and laughing will wreak havoc on the incision....I still curse my sister for making me laugh that first week after surgery...!!!

Loyola might not be as steadfast as Sloan Kettering was but I HIGHLY recommend that Jim VIGILINTLY do the breathing excercises 3x a day to prevent pneumonia and that he walks every day doing laps around the floor. Even if it's 10 steps at first.. It is the KEY to a good recovery, move, move, move. For past surgeries at Loyola I was able to whine my way out of walking- the physical therapist would not force me, at Sloan Kettering, they were drill sergants...which is what I needed!

The fatigue is a big part of any surgery and of the liver resection. Once you are home and settled, figure out what is Jim's best time of day and take advantage of it. Thank God Spring in Chicago is staging it's entrance so he can enjoy fresh air...Plan on him being tired and sore, but make sure there are some outings to look forward to...My mom and I do errands mid-morning, have lunch then I get tired and rest early afternoon until my kids get home from school.

Each week will get better and better, walk, breath, rest.

I'm in chemo on Tuesdays, so if you ever want to find me and talk, or call me, just let me know!

BEST of Luck to you and Jim. You're in my thoughts and prayers....Dr. Schoup is awesome!
I've blogged my entire journey, so if you and Jim want some more perspective....

Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

I would definatly opt for the surgery. Its not uncommon for surgeons to differ on whether a patient is a candidate for resection. It just depends on the abilities of the surgeon. This is a major surgery. The recovery for me was kinda a two stage process. I could barley walk when they sent me home. About a month later I felt much better but fatigue was a serious issue. About six months later I felt pretty close to being back to normal. The recovery was much slower than my original rectal tumor resection surgery.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi April,

When I had my liver surgery in May '08, I had mets removed from both lobes. I had my left lobe sompletely removed and a wedge cut out of my right lobe, so it is possible, but it probably depends upon where the tumors are located within the lobe. When my surgeon checked my liver with ultrasound, he actually found three additional tumors in the left lobe. He wasn't going to remove the whole left lobe originally, but his plan changed once he got in there with the ultrasound. The fact that he told me about the ability of getting in there with ultrasound during surgery is what in fact finally persuaded me to go with the surgery (vs cyberknife on the liver I was considering at the time).

So far as recovery, of course everyone is different. I had a hard time in the hospital with vomiting from pain meds and dropping blood pressure, but was fine once that got solved after the first three days. Initially, I thought I'd never even be able to sit up in bed, it was so painful. But I then started recovering pretty quickly. As someone already mentioned, it's laughing, coughing, and sneezing that hurt- and also turning too quickly or straining. Making yourself walk and get around help with recovery. Literally, the day after I got home from the hospital, I took a slow walk around my neighborhood because they were having a neighborhood rummage sale. Walking did me good & I made myself walk each day, even if some days it was only around my backyard. Each week was better and better. Two and a half months after surgery, we went on a family vacation, which included white water rafting and horsebackriding. I was skeptical about doing those things, but I really was doing well by then and so I did go rafting and horsebackriding, and I was completely fine!
Oh- one thing I read about to help speed things along in the hospital (they won't release you until you've passed gas and had a bowel movement) is to chew gum- at least an hour a day after the first couple of days. Chewing gets the digestive system moving, as it's normally a signal to the stomach and intestines that food is on its way down. The study I read said patients that chewed gum in the hospital got to go home 1-2 days earlier than their non-gum chewing counterparts- lol!

Best wishes to your husband- sounds like he'll be in good care. :)


impactzone's picture
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

Chewing is a great idea. I found a hot water bottle on my abdomen at home helped the gas flow quickly. I had liver resection 4 years ago at Stanford (teaching hospital) and everything went well. WALK... the walk some more. It hurts and it is slow and tiring but you have to. I was in the hospital 5 days and back to work in 2 weeks. It was painful but I hated pain meds...made me constipated which hurt worse so I used lots of tylenol.

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