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Topic: pre-surgery anxiety

Forum: LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma In Situ) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for LCIS.

Posted on: Dec 26, 2007 05:32PM

judy1948 wrote:

3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with infiltrating lobular carcinoma-I'm scheduled for surgery-lumpectomy on January 9th. I'm pretty nervous about the early steps in the surgery-the insertion of the wire for localization and the injection of the tracer dye for use in locating the sentinel node. I would really appreciate  hearing how this worked for other people-how much pain was there in each of these procedures? Has anyone done this with conscious sedation?  How didwork for you? Did it help?  How long did each of these processes  last? Were family members able to be in the room while they were being done? I've heard the wire insertion and dye injection are pretty painful and I'm scared. I did have the needle biopsy and the numbing up part was pretty uncomfortable, but didn't last long. I also would appreciate hearing how uncomfotable you were afterwards? Thanks for any information anyone can provide. Judy

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Dec 26, 2007 06:02PM JapanLynn wrote:

Hi, Judy--

Thought I'd write and share my experience w/ surgery in August (my first hospital experience, by the way).  I had to be at the hospital at 10:30, and surgery was scheduled for 2:00.  After I got changed, I was offered a valium, which I took gratefully.  Then it was off to mammography (my family stayed in my room...close quarters in the mammo area).  There they did the wire thing--a shot in the breast to numb me up, and then the radiologist inserted the wire; didn't feel a thing.  They put a paper cup over the wire...kind of weird and funny-looking.

Back to the room for awhile, and then I was taken to nuclear medicine for the SNB mapping procedure.  I've read on this board that lots of people are given some kind of topical numbing cream, but not me.  The radiologist said he couldn't give me a numbing shot because it would interfere w/ the dye in some way.  I won't lie--I got 4 shots in the nipple and it hurt, but just briefly.

Back to the room w/ family, w/ visits from the surgeons and anesthesiologist.  Then I was escorted to surgery, and I remember nothing else until the recovery room.  I spent the night at the hospital and went home the next morning.

Re: pain afterward...I asked for a couple of pain meds during the night, but it really wasn't too bad; my surgeon had told me to keep in front of the pain, rather than wait to ask for meds.  Truthfully, I was pretty sore for about a day (the SNB site was more sore than the lumpectomy site), but nothing major.  I continued to take the pain meds for a few days, but probably could have done without them after the first day.

BTW, I peed a beautiful robins-egg blue for a couple of days from the dye. :-)

I was surprised at how quickly I felt like myself...lots of naps for a few days, but that was from the anesthesia aftereffects.  Hope this helps.  Best of luck to you!


Dx 7/30/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 26, 2007 06:12PM 12954 wrote:

I had an excisional biopsy with wire guided localization. I suspect that that is pretty much the same thing. At my hospital it is done as an out patient procedure. I went in the morning, was taken up to the radiation facility for the wire procedure. They started with a mammogram- then  an injection for numbing, then inserted the needle. The local was a shot and felt like a shot, but it numbed it enough for the wire insertion so that wasn't that bad. They then taped the wire in place ( covered it with a paper cup taped to my boob- weird looking). Next I was brought back down to wait for the operation. Back up to an operating room after an hour or so I was sedated for the excision- and it wasn't all that long. I went home after a hour or so in recovery and back in outpatient. Your particular hospital may be different. The wire incision can vary but probably took under a half hour for me. They take a mammogram, make markings, insert the wire and then checked again to see if it is exactly where they wanted. It was one and done for me, but I gathered sometimes it can be longer ( hence the wait for surgery). The nicer thing was that they had a chair so I didn't have to stand through the processes. I was told the process would take total of 5 hours ( I needed to know to get someone to pick me up), but because the doctor was late for the OR it took longer. I came in at 7 and left 1:30 or 2:00. Hope this helps


Dx 10/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Dec 26, 2007 07:39PM awb wrote:

Judy--I had my wire localization about an hour before my lumpectomy (can't speak about the SNB because I didn't have that with LCIS)--I was numbed up very well, so it wasn't painful, but it was a lot of pressure. The hardest part was sitting so still with my head turned to the side since I have neck trouble--my neck hurt, my breast didn't! (same issue with the stereotactic core biopsy).   They brought me back to my room (where they had my husband wait) with the wire covered up loosely with gauze.  I had conscious sedation for the lumpectomy--it was great, didn't feel a thing and don't remember anything other than chatting with the doc for a moment and then waking up in recovery. I stayed there for a little while, they gave me juice and crackers, pain meds and then sent me home. I was wrapped snuggly in a chest binder which I was allowed to remove after 2 days and then shower with the steri strips on. I was in at 6:30 am, home by 2:00. I actually had very little pain.  I did take it  easy for a few days and then was back to normal activites in less than a week. Praying all goes well for you. The good news--my mom had ILC (lumpectomy, rads and tamox) and is now a survivor of 21 years with no recurrence!

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future" Dx 9/5/2003, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes Surgery 9/15/2003 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/29/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/4/2005 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/27/2009 Evista (raloxifene)
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Dec 26, 2007 09:10PM nash wrote:

I found the sentinel node mapping to be painful. But the pain only lasted about 15 seconds.The pain varies from person to person, depending on how many injections they have to use (2-4) and how fast they inject the dye.

I'd asked about the mapping pain on the boards before hand, and answers were all over the place as far as severity. I'm glad I was mentally prepared for it--it's not really that big a deal, but I would've been a tad freaked if I hadn't known ahead of time that it could hurt. My husband was in the room with me for that part.

I didn't have a wire localization, as my lump was palpable.

After the lumpectormy, I was uncomfortable/in mild pain for a few days, then was back up and running normally in about five days. 

Good luck with your surgery, and keep us posted. 

Stage IV Pleomorphic ILC, initially diagnosed at age 38 Dx 6/7/2007, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/19/2007 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/1/2007 CAF Radiation Therapy 12/27/2007 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2008 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/24/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/15/2015 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 2/1/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 6/20/2018, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Targeted Therapy 7/1/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 7/17/2020, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 7/23/2020 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy External: Brain
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Dec 28, 2007 09:47AM moogie wrote:

I've had both procedures and this is what I can tell you:

The mind is a powerful thing.

Deep slow breathing like in meditation helped me. I also focused my thinking while it was being done ( on a favorite song, or once I memorized a poem to recall at this time, a prayer for someone , etc...)

 Pain is subjective. I was in pain sometimes with wire localization, but I knew that the feeling was temporary, would be releived once they had a placement, and was for a greater good. The sentinel node stuff gave me no trouble at all. "discomfort".

My advice is to try to take control of the " unknown " and find a focus for your thought during this stuff. I was skeptical too at first, but I assure you that this will make the process better for you!!!

Good Luck!!


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