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Surgery

Depending on the type and location of your tumor, surgery is usually a part of treatment. Surgery is usually performed by our orthopaedic oncology team. Surgery will require you to be admitted to the Hospital for a minimum of a few days.

 

Items to bring for surgery

Some things to think of bringing with you into hospital are personal items such as :

  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • brush
  • soap
  • deodorant

 

 

Please avoid bringing valuables unless it is absolutely necessary.

 

It is important to remember that Mount Sinai Hospital is a large teaching hospital. Your care team consists of a large variety of professionals including students and residents. It is likely your residents will be more involved in your day to day care on the unit. However, all members of the team will be actively participating in your care.

 

Surgery usually involves removal of the entire tumor including a certain amount of healthy tissue to prevent the spread of the cancer. Depending on the size of the incision (cut), you may require things such as skin/bone grafts, muscle flaps and/or vascular reconstruction. This will sometimes mean that other surgeons may be involved in your care as well. Mixed treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy may make the healing process a little longer. In order to allow the incision to heal, you may be placed on bed rest (stay in bed) for a few days.

During your recovery many members of the sarcoma team will be involved in your care. Surgical pain is often associated with the majority of our surgeries. Our Acute Pain Service and/or Palliative Pain Team will be involved in managing your pain and making you as comfortable as possible.

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy team members will play an important role in helping you regain your strength and mobility. They will usually see you daily during your stay. Usually you are able to complete your rehab during your stay in hospital and then continue with your rehab on an outpatient basis. Occasionally you may go to a rehabilitation facility if you need more time to recuperate. All other members of the team will either be actively caring for you or available to you during your stay.

Once you are strong and safe enough for discharge the team will work to ensure the best transition possible. Often home care services will be set up for you. These services include visits from nurses, equipment use and sometimes homemaking help. Usually you will receive a follow-up appointment or information prior to discharge. If you did not get an appointment date prior to going home, you should call your surgeon’s office to arrange one. It is important to follow all discharge instructions upon going home to ensure a safe and complete recovery.

 

Follow-up Care

The majority of patients referred to our unit live outside the Greater Toronto Area. We try to have the referring physician provide us with all of the patient's relevant medical records and radiological imaging studies ahead of time so we can co-ordinate all aspects of patient appointments and treatments before arriving for the first consultation. Following treatment, every attempt is made to find an oncologist or other appropriate physician in the patient's community for follow-up care.

 

Wound Care/Problems

Keep it clean and dry

Until your wound is entirely healed it is important to try and keep it as clean and dry as possible. If you do not have a homecare nurse visiting, make sure your bandage is kept dry and change it if it is wet.
 

Bathing

It is preferable that you shower rather than sit in a bath. Usually you can begin showering five days after surgery if you have staples and your wound is no longer draining any fluid. Your doctor will let you know when you may shower. The nurses may also be able to give you some tips on how to wash and keep your dressing/wound dry.
 

Problems with healing

Although your wound may have been healing well before discharge, occasionally there may be some problems with healing upon returning home. If you notice that your wound becomes increasingly more red/painful or swollen, draining any fluid (especially if it becomes whitish or has an odour), or you have a fever you should notify your doctor. If your wound is draining clear or a slightly yellow tinged fluid this is normal drainage. As long as your wound is not reddened and you do not have a fever this is nothing to be concerned about. You should also notify someone if you notice your wound is coming apart. If you are unsure if there is a problem, you can always visit your family doctor.

 

Chemo Unit
 
416-586-4800 ext. 2845
11 South Unit     
   
416-586-4800 ext. 4580
Dr. Wunder
 
416-586-4800 ext. 8807
Dr. Ferguson 416-586-4800 ext. 8687