New Minimally Invasive Technique for Melanoma
Chicago, IL – At first, Krista Easom figured the little red bump on her foot was nothing more than a blister. It didn’t hurt, but after a couple months, it didn’t go away either.
She booked an appointment with a dermatologist to have it removed. She wasn’t worried. Easom, a 24-year-old law school student from New Jersey, was healthy, had no family history of cancer and was getting ready to enjoy some time in her newly adopted city of Chicago.
That’s when she received the results from her dermatologist, who removed a part of the blister and had it tested. It turns out that little red bump was malignant melanoma which kills more than 8,700 Americans each year.
Further tests revealed that Easom’s melanoma had spread to her lymph nodes, requiring a lymphadenectomy to have them removed. This major surgery includes a five-day stay in the hospital followed by an extensive recovery. About half of the patients who undergo this procedure suffer from wound infections because of the 12-inch incision’s hip-to-thigh location.
Easom and her family looked into her options and she was referred to Northwestern Medicine® surgical oncologists Jeffery D. Wayne, MD and Karl Bilimoria, MD, two of the very few surgeons in the country using a minimally invasive procedure to remove groin lymph nodes. This laparoscopic procedure may drastically reduce the recovery rate and chance of infection for patients like Easom. Continue>
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