VIN 3 - Partial Vulvectomy

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I read these message boards before my surgery and I'm here for a little support. VIN3 doesn't seem to have much resources so like many women I thought this may be a good place for support. I'm early 40s, no HVP, never abnormal PAP, same partner for 20 years.

VIN 3 was removed by partial vulvectomy. Home the same day. Peeing the first 3 days was rough. I peed by pouring water over myself, which relieved the stinging. It was difficult to tell what had occurred in surgery due to the swelling. Ice, feet up. I thought I was healing well…

Day 12, 3 or 4 stitches popped while I was sleeping. I have done nothing while healing. Just laying around, my doc said it is common. Did anyone have popped stitches? How did you heal? Any advice?

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  • skippingLiz
    skippingLiz Member Posts: 13 Member
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    Uh oh! What did your doctor say? My stitches are supposed to dissolve, but I think it's supposed to take more than two weeks! I had surgery for Vin 3 a week ago. No problems yet. I've just been lazing around too. I was very surprised by how much swelling there was!

  • gardener40
    gardener40 Member Posts: 4 Member
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    Hi! Well, I hope you are healing up alright. Take it easy. It is a terrible procedure, but nice knowing other women are out there doing the same thing I am. Laying around. My doc said stitches dissolve in 6-8 weeks, so yea having mine pop day 12 - not much healing had occurred. Now I just have a part of the area 'open'. I guess I just have to keep it clean, as they can't stitch it back up. She also said it was very common with the location of my procedure. 🤷‍♀️

    I was curious if anyone has an experience on the heal time, or how it affected their healing. Where you told a healing timeline?

  • Cometsmom
    Cometsmom Member Posts: 15 Member
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    I had a partial vulvectomy with a reconstruction/flap for VIN 3 on 3/18. I also had some stitches pop, yikes more scary than painful! My dr said yes, it's pretty common for that to happen because of the tension on the wounds. As long as you're not bleeding or incredibly uncomfortable I think it'll be ok. I'm still having to wear a mini pad because of drainage (sorry, gross) which I wasn't really expecting to last this long but my dr didn't seem worried about it. Overall I'm moving around much better but I've pretty much also been laying around on the couch, no laundry, lifting etc. Monday will be 4 weeks. Other than being really remarkably tired, I think I'm healing well. My dr said it could take up to 10 weeks to really feel better.

    I hope you're doing okay and continue to heal! ❤️

  • gardener40
    gardener40 Member Posts: 4 Member
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    Thank you. This is helpful info. Have you been able to drive? Glad to hear you can move around better. You keep healing too!

  • Cometsmom
    Cometsmom Member Posts: 15 Member
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    I drove about 1 week after the surgery, pretty uncomfortable. It's been getting better but I'm avoiding it whenever possible until I have to go back to work!

  • skippingLiz
    skippingLiz Member Posts: 13 Member
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    I got in the driver's seat 7 days post-op, and got right back out! Nope. Even being a passenger is difficult, but it depends on the vehicle.

  • gardener40
    gardener40 Member Posts: 4 Member
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    I'm coming back to this message board even though I don't really need to.
    If you are reading this in the future, please remember women don't come back to these message boards if their
    surgery went well, or they just want to heal and get on with it. That is
    much how I feel. I did it! It's over! I don't want to think or talk
    about it. But know you are not alone. It is rough in the beginning, but prepare yourself and you can do it! Judge your progress week by week, not day by day. I'm at 5 weeks today since surgery and feeling pretty decent. Sitting is still painful, but driving has been ok(just the last few days). I still have stitches, but they aren't scratchy anymore. <3

  • Cometsmom
    Cometsmom Member Posts: 15 Member
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    I haven't been checking in much since getting back to work, and mentally it's out of sight out of mind for me. My pathology showed positive margins for the VIN 3 so I'll be having every 3 month follow ups. I don't think I'd go for surgery again though. I still get email notifications when someone posts, so I would definitely respond to anyone with questions or concerns. All the best to everyone. This is not an easy thing to deal with emotionally or physically, and there's not much info out there so start here and I'm definitely available to anyone starting this journey ❤️

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 3,444 Member
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    Cometsmom,

    Susan13a posted on a post on this Discussion Board and sounds like she has a lot going on. Maybe you can reach out to her and see if she has any questions? You ladies have my heart. I cannot even begin to imagine how much you have had to face and without others to talk to? Again, I cannot imagine.

    Hugs to all of you

  • skippingLiz
    skippingLiz Member Posts: 13 Member
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    I'm six weeks post-op and doing fine but still not quite back up to speed. Going into this, I hadn't thought recovery would take so long ... the pain is not so bad, even at first. It's just a lot of heavy duty fatigue and dealing with going to the bathroom (or not going!) I went back to work after 4 weeks, even though I really didn't feel like it, and I promptly caught a cold and then a stomach bug. 😭 My immune system is clearly not working well.

    Any way, that's the report from 6 weeks. I'm probably going to be signing off now.

    I wish you ladies all the best. Be kind to yourself and patient with recovery. Don't ask more of yourself than you would ask of someone you love. ❤️

  • angelenaawbrey77
    angelenaawbrey77 Member Posts: 6 Member
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    I didn't pop stitches from a vulvectomy, but I had popped stitches from an episiotomy that were restitched during my first vulvectomy. I was 32 with a 5 week old. I definitely feel your pain. Nobody really prepared me for the head trip so I hope you are ok. It's been 14 years and 3 vulvectomies now. It's a shame how few resources we have. Ive had invasive squamous cell carcinoma for all my surgeries so it's good they caught it at VIN 3. Good luck to you