UPDATE: SSG stands for split skin graft.
The hospital paperwork arrived today from Dr P’s office. I do find my oral surgeon’s manner of information delivery rather unusual.
It turns out the surgery will be:
Left mandibulectomy (removal of my left mandible, the lower jaw bone over which the tumour is growing)
Fibula flap (removal of my fibula bone, artery, vein and muscle to fashion a new jaw bone)
Upper neck dissection (nice, they need to get in)
Tracheostomy (hole in my throat directly to my trachea so I can breathe without my mouth and nose, needed because of post-surgery swelling), and
SSG (not the foggiest idea – anyone?).
Dr P has also made a few scrawls under ‘pathology tests requested’. It took a bit of trial, error and googling, but these seem to be:
FBC (full blood count, ooh blood test)
SMAC-20 (chemistry screen to check various chemicals in the blood, ooh another blood test)
ECG (electrocardiogram, to check electrical activity in the heart), and
CXR (chest x-ray).
And here I thought I was filling in some routine paperwork. When will I have these tests, I wonder?
The consent form Dr P signed also said he had explained to me my condition, alternative treatments available, as well as the nature, purpose, likely results, and material risks of the operation. I should add those points to my list of questions, I thought.
I popped in a little post-it note to J, Dr P’s assistant, asking her to schedule us for another consultation with Dr P before 1 August.
Any questions you think I should add to the list? Contributions gratefully accepted.
UPDATE: I have started a new page with questions that I plan to ask my surgeons before 1 August (still to be confirmed as surgery date).