Surgery is the most common treatment for sarcoma.
The type of surgery and reconstruction requires will vary depending on where the sarcoma is in the body. The type of surgery is discussed with the specialists and then with patients when in clinic.
We have a team of very experienced surgeons, who specialise in the removal of Sarcomas. They work in the departments of Plastic Surgery and Hepatobiliary Surgery. The plastic surgeons operate at the Leeds General Infirmary and the hepatobiliary surgeon operates at St James' University Hospital.
If a general anaesthetic is required then patients need to attend the pre-assessment surgical clinic to ensure fitness for a general anaesthetic. You'll be asked questions about your health, your medical history and your home circumstances. They will undertake investigations such as MRSA screening, blood tests, ECG’s and blood pressure as required.
Surgical Pre-assessment for Plastic Surgery is located at the LGI on B floor of Brotherton Wing. Surgical Pre-assessment for Hepatobiliary Surgery is located at St James' Hospital on Level 1 of Lincoln Wing.
Your appropriate pre-assessment department will contact you with an appointment.
Day of Surgery
Plastic Surgery patients will be admitted to Ward L27 at the LGI on the day of your surgery. This is a surgical admissions ward only, and you will then be moved to Ward L38 for recovery after your surgery. Hepatobiliary Surgery patients are cared for on Ward J81 and J83 at St James' Hospital.
We will inform you in clinic of the expected length of stay you will have before you are discharged home. Please ensure that you bring your toiletries and a supply of your regular medications for this time.
What to Expect Following Surgery
You may have a surgical drain inserted during your operation. The drain helps to draw excess fluid away from the surgical site. The drain will remain in place and will be monitored by the nurses until the fluid output is low enough to remove.
You will have a wound to your skin that will have a dressing over it to protect it. This will be monitored by the nurses on the ward. Your wound may cause you some discomfort and the nurses on the ward will provide you with painkillers for this.
Mobilising After Surgery
It is important to mobilise gently after your surgery. The ward nurses will advise you when it is safe to first get out of bed after your operation. Mobilising gently will help to prevent the development of DVTs (blood clots).
You may require the help of physiotherapists on the ward, who can assist you to move safely and prevent any damage to your wounds. You may require aids such as crutches, which the physiotherapists will provide if needed. The physiotherapists will also give you exercises to help you to recover and regain strength.
Follow Up After Discharge
After you have been discharged home, Plastic Surgery patients will be seen weekly in the Plastics Dressing Clinic. This appointment will be the first Tuesday after you are discharged. The Plastics Dressing Clinic team will monitor your wound for signs of infection and change any dressings that you have been sent home with. You will be seen regularly until your wound is healed.
Potential Post-Operative Complications
- Infection - You will need to monitor your wound for any signs of infection, such as heat, redness, swelling, pain, and discharge from the wound. You may also develop a temperature and become unwell in yourself. If you feel that you are developing an infection, it is important that you have your wound assessed either by your GP or at the Plastics Dressing Clinic. You may require antibiotics.
- Seroma- This is a collection of clear fluid that gathers between the tissues where your surgery has been performed. This can make the surgical area appear swollen. Your body may reabsorb the fluid by itself, or you may require the fluid to be drained. If you notice swelling, it is important to have this checked by your GP or by the Plastics Dressing Clinic.
- Numbness - It is quite common to have an area of numbness over the wound and to the surrounding tissues after surgery. Sensation may return over time, but sometimes the numbness is permanent. This is due to the nerves being affected by the surgery.