2008 -- Melanoma in situ (lower right leg)
2015 -- Melanoma 2B upper right leg (Sentinel Node Negative)
2020 -- CT scan showed swollen right groin lymph node -- Biopsy confirms Melanoma -- now stage 3b
Treatment plan is Opdivo/Yervoy -- followed by a Superficial Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection
(Lymph node with checked along the way to evaluate effectiveness of Immunotherapy)
Surgeon also recommended a Plastic Surgeon work WITH him to o perform a Lymphovenous Bypass during Superficial Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection to lower the risk of lymphedema.
(veins are used for fluid drainage)
It's my understanding that this surgery has mostly helped alleviate lymphedema from PREVIOUS surgeries. This surgeon tries to prevent it.
Now the plot twist:
Met with the plastic surgeon today.
He is concerned that a Lymphovenous Bypass on the right side will drain fluid from the right leg directly into the veins without "filters".
This is concerning should I still have melanoma cells in the right leg or have a recurrence there in the future.
He would like to consider a Lymph Node Transfer during the Superficial Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection.
Lymph nodes will be taken from my left underarm and placed in the right leg
He said this surgery has successfully helped alleviate lymphedema in patients experiencing swelling from a previous surgery, but there is not a lot of outcome evaluation for patients getting this surgery DURING Superficial Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection.
Has anyone had this surgery?
Those who have had Superficial Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection -- what should I be considering?
Do everything possible to minimize melanoma spread/recurrence
Try not to end up with life-long leg swelling