Cancer is terrifying – everything related to cancer is terrifying – diagnosis, medication, treatment, recovery – all of it! No matter if it’s in an initial curable stage or a final fatal stage; no matter if we have it ourselves or know someone who is suffering from cancer – we react to cancer more or less the same way.
Now, if cancer invades us in a place which is not accessible to us generally, it requires heavy medical procedures to get it out. One such type of cancer is bone cancer. You can very well imagine what the doctors have to do if you have bone cancer in your limbs – remove the cancerous portion of the bone!
Previously, it would mean loss of the limb or it’s functionality. But, the new limb salvage surgery brings a fresh ray of hope!
What is Limb Salvage Surgery?
Limb Salvage Surgery is a surgical procedure to remove cancer. The aim of the surgery is not only to remove cancerous tissue but also reserve the functionality and the appearance of the limb while causing minimal complications. This saves the patient from amputation.
How is Limb Salvage Surgery performed?
In simple terms, the surgeon removes the cancerous tumor or the affected tissues along with one inch of surrounding tissues (ideally) to eliminate any chances of relapse. Then the missing portion is refilled with artificial tissue. The artificial tissue might come from two sources: one, it might be a bone graft made from your own bone tissues or from a donor’s bone tissues; two, it can be a combination of a bone graft and a metal implant.
How do you recover from a Limb Salvage Surgery?
A Limb Salvage Surgery is risky when it comes to immediate infections, blood clots, blood loss etc. This is why, it has a comparatively longer stay in the hospital for up to 10 days. The doctors keep a close eye on your situation. After that, within a couple of weeks, your wound will heal. But you will need assistive devices while using the limb. You will have to go for prolonged physiotherapy and it may take almost a year for the limb to be carrying full weight.
What are the concerns of Limb Salvage Surgery?
Even when everything in the surgery goes right, our body does not readily accept the new changes. This might lead to some complications.
- For a bone graft, also called an allograft, the attached portion may not heal properly on on both the sides at the point of attachment. This makes the portion more vulnerable to fracture.
- Appropriate amount of movement is required after a limb salvage surgery. Overworking of the limb might loosen the bone and it might wear out. If that happens, another surgery will be required to correct the situation. Similarly, underworking will stiffen the bone tissue and the surrounding soft tissues.
- Anybody who is not an adult will need to go for frequent follow ups to make sure that the implant is growing in a rate similar to their natural growth of the rest of the body. However, your doctor will advise you to go for a follow up at least once every year throughout your life, even if you are an adult, even if there are no visible complications.
What lifestyle changes would you need to make after a Limb Salvage Surgery?
- Plan your activities well. Don’t overdo or underdo physical activities.
- Always keep an eye out for any swelling, redness or fever. These may indicate an infection inside.
- Any kind of infection should be dealt with IMMEDIATELY!
- Carry a medical letter for your medical implant to ease through the security checks.
Now that you know about limb salvage cancer surgery, you can reassure yourself, or anybody going through it that everything will be fine. Afterall, beating cancer requires a lot more mental strength than anything else.
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL
Sai Sanjeevini Multi Speciality Hospitals a unit of Singapanga Healthcare Pvt. Ltd has been providing health services to the people in need for the last 14 years. This health care organisation combines practical, proven research, cutting edge procedures and state-of-the-art treatment to produce excellent medical and lifestyle outcome for our patients. Our hospital and medical staff provide innovative medical care in a friendly, compassionate, community environment conducive to patient recuperation in a family atmosphere.