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video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (vats) scheduled

Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Medical Procedures and Other Drugs, My Health Updates - 3 Comments

 

video assisted thoracoscopic surgeryI know what you’re thinking. Why, Chris? Why oh why is it Chris?

Why does that bastard get to have VATS and I don’t?

Sure, I know how you feel. But don’t be jealous. I’ve worked hard for this. It’s not easy to win the Video Assisted Thoacoscopic Surgery Lottery. There are officials to be bribed, palms to be greased. There are a series of people in line in front of you who have to suddenly disappear under mysterious circumstances. There are junkets – I mean educational conferences – that must be paid for. Charitable donations to major medical facilities. Repetitive and shameless groveling and whining and tantrum-throwing incidents. So, don’t give up. I have faith in you. Keep trying.

In the meantime, let me give you the dates of my surgivacation:

On Thursday, Dec 16, Dena and I head down to Duke for pre-operative screening, poking and consulting.

On Friday, Dec 17, I’ll undergo the actual surgery. Or something anyway. Who knows what they’ll actually do once they get me unconscious in that little windowless room. The intention, however, is to go in through the right ribcage and just under the right pectoral to remove the contrarian mets in the right lung. They will then do another procedure – Duke had a Xmas two-for-one special promotion – in which they’ll go in near the collarbone and remove inflamed lymph nodes so that they can be investigated further to confirm evidence of further lymphatic spread.

If you are curious as to what goes on during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, you can read an outline written up by the Cleveland Clinic.

Or, if you have a strong stomach, you can watch the video below of a video-assisted upper lobectomy. What you see on the video is pretty much what the surgeon is seeing during the surgery, as he/she works via a small camera inserted into your chest, streaming video to a monitor which guides the surgeon.

  • Donna Westwood

    So would you do it again? Did the tumors come back?

    • Dena Battle

      Donna, the tumors did come back and in Chris’s case, they grew more rapidly following the surgery.  I suspect that the toll on Chris’s immune system is what caused the growth.  We don’t regret doing the surgery – but if we could go back knowing what we know, obviously we would have tried some other systemic therapy.  I think you’re considering stereo-tactic radiation as an option? and I think that’s a good route to consider. It’s such a tough call.  We know some people who have had multiple surgeries and kept the cancer at bay that way — but I don’t think that route works well for Chris.  If you want to discuss further, feel free to e-mail me at dena_battle@yahoo.com.  Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!  Dena

  • Vats Procedure

    I was looking for this kind of information. Thanks a lot dear.
    Your website is too good.I like your post nice job..

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