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Getting Ready for and Recovering From Cancer Surgery

Getting Ready for and Recovering From Cancer Surgery

Surgery is one of the oldest and most effective ways to treat a variety of cancers. At its most basic, cancer surgery is an operation to remove a cancerous tumor. But these days, it’s a highly customizable procedure, and it could be the right treatment option for you.

Elvira Klause, MD, is a surgical oncologist, and she specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer with surgery. From skin cancer to breast cancer, find out what to expect before and after surgery here.

Getting ready for cancer surgery

If you recently learned that you need cancer surgery, here’s how to start getting ready.

Understand the purpose

Dr. Klause uses surgery to identify, diagnose, and treat a range of cancers. 

Surgery can help us diagnose and determine the stage of cancer, so you get the most effective treatment plan for your needs. In some cases, Dr. Klause uses surgery to remove the cancerous tumor or tissues from your body.

Ask questions about your health and your treatment options when deciding if cancer surgery is the best choice for you.

Learn what to expect

Some surgeries are more complex than others, and it’s important to learn what to expect from your procedure.

Surgery for skin cancers and small tumors may be outpatient, which means you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. Other procedures, like mastectomy with reconstruction, may require a few days in the hospital and recovery at home that lasts several weeks.

Prepare for your procedure

We give you specific instructions to prepare for your surgery. These instructions may include temporarily stopping certain medications or eating a special diet in the days leading up to surgery.

Follow our instructions closely and contact our office if you have any questions.

Recovering from cancer surgery

Before your surgery, take time to understand what happens afterward. Here’s what recovery might look like for you:

Go home

Depending on the type of cancer surgery you need, we may schedule your procedure in our office, a surgery center, or a hospital.

Minor outpatient procedures don’t require an overnight stay, so you can go home the same day. More advanced procedures may require a hospital stay of from one to several nights. After you’re discharged, you’re free to go home to continue recuperating.

Follow our instructions

We discuss post-surgery care with you before your procedure, then review it after surgery with you and your caregiver(s).

You may have a bandage over your incision or a surgical drain, both of which require special care to promote proper healing. Follow our instructions for care, and avoid strenuous activity for a period of time. 

At your follow-up appointments, we tell you when it’s safe to go back to your usual activities.

Participate in follow-up treatments

It’s possible for cancer surgery to remove all the cancer in your body, but follow-up treatments might be necessary. Depending on your needs, you might need chemotherapy, radiation, or follow-up surgery to ensure the cancer is eradicated.

Cancer surgery is effective, but it’s normal to have questions. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Klause to learn more about your options. Book online or call our San Clemente, California, office at 949-245-6910 today.

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