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Advice on recovery from vulvar wide local excision

Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2012

I am having a wide local excision to remove vulvar squamous cell carcinoma on Tuesday. I am very nervous about the surgery and recovery and would love to hear from anyone that can advise me about what to expect for the recovery and what if anything you did to help the recovery process.

Posts: 181
Joined: Jan 2009

Sorry to hear you have had to postpone your surgery but best to be healthy before your body has to recover from a surgery.
Just a few ideas that were helpful to me when I had my vulvectomy, I used a squirt bottle(like a ketchup bottle) with warmish water in to flush area after using the bathroom. You can find them at grocery store or walmart in kitchen supply area.
I also lived in nightgowns, and didn't wear underwear for a long time. If I had to go out, I wore yoga pants in 2 sizes bigger, so fabric would not rub on wound site.Or I wore a skirt and went commando.I had full pelvic radiation also at that time, so it was necessary for me to avoid contact with anything against my skin.
During first week, I used an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the area to bring down the swelling, elevated leg on the side of surgery, and just moved slower and got lots of rest.
Every one will have a somewhat different experience, but I found the recovery to be not too terribly bad. I am sure your doc will give you pain meds, use them but also take something for the constipation they will cause. I am sure your doc will go over a lot of this with you too, actually his nurse might be a better help to you since they are the ones that deal more with patients.
Take it one day at a time, you will get through it. I am sorry that you have to deal with this, be strong and remember that cancer does not define you as a person,but will give you the opportunity to learn about yourself and you will see how many people care about you.

Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2012

I have been thinking about you and I hope you are healing well.
I started back to work last Wed.
I have fatigue after 3pm and sitting is still difficult. I work then come home and crash.
Looking forward to feeling better.
Take care

Littlejfroglegs's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2017

I'm a 41, almost 42yo single mother to an amazing little 5 yo boy.  I was recently diagnosed with VIN III after a biopsy and then oncology/gynecology surgeon consult at which time I was scheduled for a Wide Local Vulvar Excision Surgery on April 11th, 2017.  It all happened so fast, I didnt know what questions to ask.  After all, when you hear "Cancer" you think of life saving measure (type questions), not esthetics or anatomy post surgery.  

Journal entry:  I'm 6 days out from an Upper Vulvar Wide Local Excision surgery.  I can manage pain mainly with ibuprofen.  Still very tender and sore.  Quite a bit of swelling (from what I can tell) still. Bruising starting to appear above incision area.  Dissolvable stitches are still intact.  I don't understand what was removed or how the stitching was done.  Nor, what I'll look like down there.  I was told that my clitoris was not removed, but I'll be honest.....I don't recognize myself!! I look downward and all I see is swelling, bruises and skin stitched together where there never used to be.  I'm numb and don't want to probe around with my fingers and risk an infection or disturbing the stitches.  I'm scared and confused and angry and feel left in the dark.  My post op/next appointment, isn't until May 3rd, 2017.  I feel like I'm going crazy!!  

 Can anyone help me out?  Has anyone else experienced this?  Can anyone tell me if theI've had a similar experience and if the surgeon "relocated/reconstructed" any anatomy?  



a single, scared mom


Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2017

I'm a 40 year old, single mum to a beautiful, almost 5 year old boy. I had an operation for VIN iii on Monday, so I am 6 days post op and still in a fair bit of pain. I had quite a bit taken; from bottom of vagina to 1 cm before anus. I'm bruised and sore, although I have good pain melds, it doesn't really take all of it away. I'm feeling pretty emotional about it all, previously I felt fine about having the surgery(I have the best surgeon in Australia who specialises in this area) but now I'm nervous that the results will come back as cancer. I am fortunate that I have a good support as a single mother, my family have stepped up while I'm healing.

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