Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II Stabbing Pain at WLE Site

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  • #20466
    lizbeth
    Participant

    Hi Everyone:

    I have posted previously on this site about my diagnosis and treatment for my stage 1b melanoma. I had a WLE and SNB done in the beginning of April and received wonderful news that the SNB was negative and although the surgeon took a much larger chunk out of my thigh than he originally said, everything went well and for the most part my recovery has gone smoothly. In the last day or so I’ve begun noticing a stabbing like sensation around my incision. It feels as if it’s being stabbed from underneath my skin and most of the time it’s to the left of the actual incision/scar. There is no redness and the scar is healing quite nicely. Not sure if this is normal but figured I’d ask before I call the surgeon to get his opinion. I did notice that from time to time – like when it’s about to rain – I do get a dull ache around the incision. Let me know if anyone else has experienced this. Many thanks!

    Betsy

    #55382
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Hi Betsy,

    I would certainly call your doctor and tell them about your discomfort. It could be they cut the nerves during the surgery and that you are having nerve pain. That happened for mine. I hope you continue to heal well though, but don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor.

    #55383
    7spider
    Participant

    I also had my WLE and SLNB in April on my upper arm that was also a 1b. The back of my arm is still kind of numbish and I also get some kinda sharp pain ( like pins and needles ) Surgeon said it could take a year before it totally heals due to nerve damage during surgery. He also had to go deeper than expected and removed 4 nodes cause the sentinel node was kinda impacted so they took the ones they got to first as well. Thankfully everything came back clear. I go for my 3 month follow up in a couple weeks, hopefully everything will be fine. Hope your healing process goes well too.

    #55384
    lizbeth
    Participant

    Hi Catherine:

    Thanks for the information and suggestion. I plan on calling surgeon tomorrow just to see if nerve ending could be the issue. I know that since he “dug a little deeper” than he originally planned on, that there could be nerve issues – although I chuckled with my husband that I really didn’t think cellulite had nerve endings 😆 Today my incision and area around it did not hurt at all – it was really something out of the ordinary. I did have some pain/twinges for a few weeks after the surgery but other than a dull ache when it’s going to rain, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ll let you know what I find out from the surgeon.

    Hi 7spider:

    Best wishes to you on your recovery from surgery. The area around my incision and the large “indent” in my leg is rather numb and I was told that the normal feeling may not return. I’ve had 4 c-sections and the scar itself is numbish (last one 9 years ago!) so I’m anticipating this scar to be the same. I was fortunate that the WLE pain after my surgery wasn’t as bad as some of the posts I’ve read and the SNB scar is small and other than a small hardness underneath the scar, it has healed nicely. The surgeon said the “hardness” under the scar should go away in under a year. The “area” of numbness surrounding the incision will continue to “shrink” over time. I just found it rather odd that the pain was out of the blue and was a sharp/stabbing like pain – something I didn’t even feel after the surgery. The surgeon originally was going to be conservative with his approach to my melanoma and remove a smaller area and depth until he read the “2nd opinion” report I had done (thanks to Catherine Poole’s recommendation :) ) with a dermapathologist at UofP. She felt that a wider area and depth should be taken due to the high mitotic rate that I had. I’ve already had my first appointment with an oncologist and have had my blood work and chest x-ray done which came back clear so I’ll be back for more blood work and another chest x-ray in the beginning of August for my “4 month” check. I also saw my dermatologist again and go back in September to have an area that the oncologist recommended be removed. Only issue is that the oncologist wants 3 areas removed and my dermatologist balked and said “I’ve been your doctor far longer and have been seeing you for years – so I’ll remove the one and the other two are fine”. So I’ll pass along the message to the oncologist in August and let her make the call about the other two. I’m sure I’ll be calling the dermatologist to tell her to remove the other two at the same time as the other one in September otherwise I’ll have to find another dermatologist. Good luck with your follow up and I hope everything continues to go well for you too.

    #55385
    cohanja
    Participant

    So, then was your WLE more than 1cm margin for the 0.60mm Breslow lesion?

    #55386
    lizbeth
    Participant

    Yes, my understanding is that more than 1 cm was taken not only from around the primary site but also deep into my leg for the WLE. I still have a decent size “indent” in my leg. My overall scar now measures approximately 3 inches long – it seemed much longer when it was first done/closed. The surgeon also placed 5 triple stitches tied at each end horizontally/across the vertical incision to keep the incision from pulling open. So my current scar is the vertical incision with 5 lines spaced across it.

    #55387
    7spider
    Participant

    Hey Betsy, I think you’re right about checking with a different Dermatologist about those moles is a good idea. When 2 DRs don’t agree, go for the other opinion. I think my plan going forward with these checkups every 3-4 months is to use the different DRs in my network to get some more sets of eyes checking things out. This first year I’ll probably just rotate with my Surgical Oncologist and present Dermatologist. After that I think I’ll go see a different Derm. for some of my check ups. Does this make any sense ? Thanks, John

    #55388
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Betsy,

    See if you can get an appt. with dermatopathologist from PENN who read your pathology. She is quite excellent and would be great to decide if these need to be removed. I would say that most derms are better at determining these things than oncologists but depends on their training. Good to hear from you and let us know how things turn out.

    #55389
    cohanja
    Participant

    I’ve always wondered if taking > 1 cm margins for thin lesions had some kind of advantage. There must be since your Dr did so. I asked my surgeon but he seemed to just want to go with 1 cm around the lesion for surgical margins, and then depth-wise to the fascia.

    #55390
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    The advantage is not scientifically backed. If there is concern about the migration of melanoma cells that are microscopic, taking more tissue isn’t necessarily going to achieve this. But it is theory that taking more is better.

    #55391
    cohanja
    Participant

    Well, I guess the tumor was actually all removed with the initial biopsy, so the WLE was all healthy tissue anyway, so taking more is just more healthy tissue.

    #55392
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have stage 1 melanoma. All 3 have been excised. This all took place in March 2012. I had my 3 month follow up and had 3 spots removed. Only one came back as mild dsy on surface only. They did a wide excision to be safe. I have been seeing a psychologist since and have been on focalin for OCD. I can not stop researching and examining myself. I’m having panic attacks and feeling very scared. I don’t know how to cope. Please advise.

    #55393
    cohanja
    Participant

    Just wondering if doing wide excision on mildly aytpical is routine?

    #55394
    cohanja
    Participant

    I don’t have good answers for you other than knowing Catherine has recommended meditation CDs before, etc… and probably talking to a professional is good too. But, I know exactly how you feel, cause I sometimes feel the same way. In the last year I’ve done very little but research and research and research. . and demanded probably 25 biopsies which all came back normal or mildly atypical. It’s just exhausting to always be on such a high state of alert all the time, never relaxed, never just enjoying living in the moment, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, sure that it will – just a matter of when. The irony is while being so afraid of dying, we’re not really living anyway.

    #55395
    Anonymous
    Guest

    LPLP wrote:

    I have stage 1 melanoma. All 3 have been excised. This all took place in March 2012. I had my 3 month follow up and had 3 spots removed. Only one came back as mild dsy on surface only. They did a wide excision to be safe. I have been seeing a psychologist since and have been on focalin for OCD. I can not stop researching and examining myself. I’m having panic attacks and feeling very scared. I don’t know how to cope. Please advise.

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