About Your Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

This guide will help you prepare for your bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). It will also help you understand what to expect during your recovery.

Read through this guide at least once before your surgery and use it as a reference in the days leading up to your surgery.

Bring this guide with you every time you come to MSK, including the day of your surgery. You and your healthcare team will refer to it throughout your care.

About Your Surgery

About Your Reproductive System

Your reproductive system is located in your lower abdomen (belly). It includes your ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, and vagina (see Figure 1). The uterus is located in the lower abdomen between the bladder and rectum. The lower narrow end of the uterus is called the cervix. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are attached to the uterus.

The female reproductive system

About Your Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a surgery to remove both your fallopian tubes and ovaries. You may be having a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for different reasons, such as you have an ovarian cyst or have a high chance of having ovarian cancer in the future. Your doctor will explain why you’re having the surgery.

After your surgery, you will stop menstruating (getting your period). You may experience normal symptoms of menopause, including night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. If you’re in menopause or have already gone through it, you may still notice some of these symptoms. Talk with your doctor about ways to manage these symptoms.

You will also be infertile (unable to have biological children) after your surgery. If you would like to have biological children in the future, ask your doctor for a referral to a fertility nurse specialist. For more information, ask your nurse for the resource Fertility Preservation: Options for Women Who Are Starting Cancer Treatment.

The surgery you’re having is called a:

  • Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy
  • Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy
  • Dilation and Curettage

Laparoscopic and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

You will have either a laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy or a robotic-assisted laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy.

In both types of salpingo-oophorectomies, your surgeon will make a small incision (surgical cut) on your abdomen. Gas (carbon dioxide) will be pumped into your abdomen to create space. This will give your surgeon more room to do your surgery.

Next, your surgeon will make several other small incisions on your abdomen. They will place a long, thin video camera and surgical tools through these incisions. One end will be in your abdomen, and the other end will be outside your body.

If you’re having a laparoscopic surgery, your doctor will use their hands to control the video camera and surgical tools. If you’re having a robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon will use a robot to control the camera and tools.

Your surgeon will remove your ovaries through one of the small incisions, if possible. If your ovaries are too big to fit through the opening, your surgeon will make one of the incisions larger so your ovaries will fit through.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

You may have a dilation and curettage (D&C) after your salpingo-oophorectomy. This is a procedure that’s done so your surgeon can check for abnormal cells in your uterus.

During your D&C, your cervix will be dilated (opened) slightly. Your surgeon will put a tool called a curette through your cervix, into your uterus. They will use the curette to remove a small amount of tissue from the inside of your uterus.

Your surgeon may also want to look at the tissue lining the inside of your uterus to see if anything looks abnormal. This is called a hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, your surgeon will insert a long, thin video camera through your cervix, into your uterus to examine the area.

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Before Your Surgery

The information in this section will help you prepare for your surgery.

Read through this section when your surgery is scheduled and refer to it as your surgery date gets closer. It contains important information about what you need to do before your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

Preparing for Your Surgery

You and your healthcare team will work together to get ready for your surgery.

Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if you aren’t sure.

  • I take a blood thinner. Some examples are aspirin, heparin, warfarin (Coumadin®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), enoxaparin (Lovenox®), dabigatran (Pradaxa®), apixaban (Eliquis®), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto®). There are others, so be sure your doctor knows all the medications you’re taking.
  • I take prescription medications (medications prescribed by a doctor), including patches and creams.
  • I take over-the-counter medications (medications I buy without a prescription), including patches and creams.
  • I take dietary supplements, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, and natural or home remedies.
  • I have a pacemaker, automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), or other heart device.
  • I have sleep apnea.
  • I have had a problem with anesthesia (medication to make you sleep during surgery) in the past.
  • I am allergic to certain medication(s) or materials, including latex.
  • I am not willing to receive a blood transfusion.
  • I drink alcohol.
  • I smoke.
  • I use recreational drugs.

About Drinking Alcohol

The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. It’s important to talk with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink. This will help us plan your care.

  • Stopping alcohol suddenly can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know you’re at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medication to help prevent them.
  • If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.

Here are things you can do to prevent problems before your surgery:

  • Be honest with your healthcare provider about how much alcohol you drink.
  • Try to stop drinking alcohol once your surgery is planned. If you develop a headache, nausea, increased anxiety, or can’t sleep after you stop drinking, tell your healthcare provider right away. These are early signs of alcohol withdrawal and can be treated.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you can’t stop drinking.
  • Ask us any questions you have about drinking and surgery. As always, all of your medical information will be kept confidential.

About Smoking

People who smoke can have breathing problems when they have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. If you smoke, your nurse will refer you to our Tobacco Treatment Program. You can also reach the program at 212-610-0507.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With OSA, the airway becomes completely blocked during sleep. It can cause serious problems during and after surgery.

Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you might have it. If you use a breathing machine (such as a CPAP) for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.

Within 30 Days of Your Surgery

Presurgical Testing (PST)

Before your surgery, you will have an appointment for presurgical testing (PST). The date, time, and location of your PST appointment will be printed on the appointment reminder from your surgeon’s office.

You can eat and take your usual medications the day of your PST appointment.

During your appointment, you will meet with a nurse practitioner (NP) who works closely with anesthesiology staff (doctors and specialized nurses who will give you anesthesia during your surgery). Your NP will review your medical and surgical history with you. You will have tests, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart rhythm, a chest x-ray, blood tests, and any other tests needed to plan your care. Your NP may also recommend you see other healthcare providers.

Your NP will talk with you about which medications you should take the morning of your surgery.

It’s very helpful to bring the following things to your PST appointment:

  • A list of all the medications you’re taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, patches, and creams.
  • Results of any tests done outside of MSK, such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram, or carotid doppler study.
  • The name(s) and telephone number(s) of your doctor(s).

Complete a Health Care Proxy Form

If you haven’t already completed a Health Care Proxy form, we recommend you complete one now. A health care proxy is a legal document that identifies the person who will speak for you if you’re unable to communicate for yourself. The person you identify is called your health care agent.

If you’re interested in completing a Health Care Proxy form, talk with your nurse. If you have completed one already, or if you have any other advance directive, bring it to your next appointment.

Do Breathing and Coughing Exercises

Practice taking deep breaths and coughing before your surgery. You will be given an incentive spirometer to help expand your lungs. For more information, read our resource How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer. If you have any questions, ask your nurse or respiratory therapist.

Exercise

Try to do aerobic exercise every day. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking at least 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), swimming, or biking. If it’s cold outside, use stairs in your home or go to a mall or shopping market. Exercising will help your body get into its best condition for your surgery and make your recovery faster and easier.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet before your surgery. If you need help with your diet, talk with your doctor or nurse about meeting with a dietitian.

Identify Your Caregiver

Your caregiver plays an important role in your care. You and your caregiver will learn about your surgery from your healthcare provider. After your surgery, your caregiver should be present for the discharge instructions so they’re able to help you care for yourself at home. Your caregiver will also need to take you home after your surgery.

10 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Vitamin E

If you take vitamin E, stop taking it 10 days before your surgery. Vitamin E can cause bleeding. For more information, read our resource Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Buy Hibiclens® Skin Cleanser

Hibiclens is a skin cleanser that kills germs for 24 hours after using it (see figure). Showering with Hibiclens before your surgery will help lower your risk of infection after your surgery. You can buy Hibiclens at your local pharmacy without a prescription.

7 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

If you take aspirin, ask your surgeon if you should keep taking it. Aspirin and medications that contain aspirin can cause bleeding. For more information, read our resource Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Stop Taking Herbal Remedies and Other Dietary Supplements

Stop taking herbal remedies and other dietary supplements 7 days before your surgery. If you take a multivitamin, ask your doctor or nurse if you should keep taking it. For more information, read our resource Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

2 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®), 2 days before your surgery. These medications can cause bleeding. For more information, read our resource Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

1 Day Before Your Surgery

Note the Time of Your Surgery

A clerk from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your surgery. If you’re scheduled for surgery on a Monday, you will be called on the Friday before. If you don’t receive a call by 7:00 pm, please call 212-639-5014.

Shower with Hibiclens

The night before your surgery, shower using Hibiclens.

  1. Use your normal shampoo to wash your hair. Rinse your head well.
  2. Use your normal soap to wash your face and genital area. Rinse your body well.
  3. Open the Hibiclens bottle. Pour some solution into your hand or a washcloth.
  4. Move away from the shower stream to avoid rinsing off the Hibiclens too soon.
  5. Rub the Hibiclens gently over your body from your neck to your feet. Don’t put the Hibiclens on your face or genital area.
  6. Move back into the shower stream to rinse off the Hibiclens.
  7. Dry yourself off with a clean towel after your shower.
  8. Don’t put on any lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, cologne, or perfume after your shower.

Sleep

Go to bed early and get a full night’s sleep.

Do not eat or drink after midnight.

Instructions for eating and drinking before your surgery

12 ounces of water

  • Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes hard candy and gum.
  • Between midnight and up until 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, you may drink a total of 12 ounces of water (see figure).
  • Starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, do not eat or drink anything. This includes water.

The Morning of Your Surgery

Take Your Medications

If your doctor or NP instructed you to take certain medications the morning of your surgery, take only those medications with a sip of water. Depending on what medications you take and the surgery you’re having, this may be all, some, or none of your usual morning medications.

Shower with Hibiclens

Shower using Hibiclens just before you leave for the hospital. Use the Hibiclens the same way you did the night before.

Don’t put on any lotion, cream, powder, deodorant, makeup, cologne, or perfume after your shower.

Things to Remember

  • Don’t put on any lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, perfume, or cologne.
  • Don’t wear any metal objects. Remove all jewelry, including body piercings. The equipment used during your surgery can cause burns if it touches metal.
  • Leave valuables, such as credit cards, jewelry, or your checkbook at home.
  • Before you’re taken into the operating room, you will need to remove your hearing aids, dentures, prosthetic device(s), wig, and religious articles.
  • Wear something comfortable and loose-fitting.
  • If you wear contact lenses, wear your glasses instead. Wearing contact lenses during surgery can damage your eyes.

What to Bring

  • Your breathing machine for sleep apnea (such as your CPAP), if you have one.
  • Your portable music player, if you choose. However, someone will need to hold it for you when you go into surgery.
  • Your incentive spirometer, if you have one.
  • Your Health Care Proxy Form, if you have completed one.
  • Your cell phone and charger.
  • A case for your personal items, such as eyeglasses, hearing aid(s), dentures, prosthetic device(s), wig, and religious articles, if you have it.
  • This guide. Your healthcare team will use this guide to teach you how to care for yourself after your surgery.

Once You’re in the Hospital

You will be asked to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. People with the same or similar names may be having surgery on the same day.

Get Dressed for Surgery

When it’s time to change for surgery, you will get a hospital gown, robe, and nonskid socks to wear.

Meet With Your Nurse

You will meet with your nurse before surgery. Tell your nurse the dose of any medications (including patches and creams) you took after midnight and the time you took them.

Your nurse may place an intravenous (IV) line into one of your veins, usually in your arm or hand. If your nurse doesn’t place the IV, your anesthesiologist will do it later once you’re in the operating room.

Meet With Your Anesthesiologist

Your anesthesiologist will:

  • Review your medical history with you.
  • Ask you if you’ve had any problems with anesthesia in the past, including nausea or pain.
  • Talk with you about your comfort and safety during your surgery.
  • Talk with you about the kind of anesthesia you will receive.
  • Answer any questions you may have about your anesthesia.

Your doctor or anesthesiologist may also talk with you about placing an epidural catheter (thin, flexible tube) in your spine (back). An epidural catheter is another way to give pain medication.

Prepare For Your Surgery

Once your nurse has seen you, 1 or 2 visitors can keep you company as you wait for your surgery to begin. When it’s time for your surgery, your visitor(s) will be shown to the waiting area. Your visitors should read Information for Family and Friends for the Day of Surgery.

You will either walk into the operating room or be taken in on a stretcher. A member of the operating room team will help you onto the operating bed. Compression boots will be placed on your lower legs. These gently inflate and deflate to help blood flow in your legs.

Once you’re comfortable, your anesthesiologist will give you anesthesia through your IV line and you will fall asleep. You will also get fluids through your IV line during and after your surgery.

What to Expect

After you’re fully asleep, a breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your windpipe to help you breathe. You will also have a urinary (Foley®) catheter placed to drain urine from your bladder.

Once your surgery is finished, your incisions will be closed with staples or sutures (stitches). You may also have Steri-Strips™ (thin pieces of surgical tape) or Dermabond® (surgical glue) over your incisions. Your incisions may be covered with a bandage. Your breathing tube is usually taken out while you’re still in the operating room.

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After Your Surgery

The information in this section will tell you what to expect after your surgery, both during your hospital stay and after you leave the hospital. You will learn how to safely recover from your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

What to Expect

When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or your recovery room.

A nurse will be monitoring your body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. You will get oxygen through a thin tube that rests below your nose called a nasal cannula. You will also have compression boots on your lower legs.

Your visitors can see you briefly in the PACU, usually within 90 minutes after you arrive there. A member of the nursing staff will explain the guidelines to them.

Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may stay in the PACU overnight. After your stay in the PACU, you will be taken to your hospital room. Soon after you arrive in your room, you will be helped out of bed and into a chair.

Your nurse will tell you how to recover from your surgery. Below are examples of ways you can help yourself recover safely.

  • You will be encouraged to walk with the help of your nurse or physical therapist. We will give you medication to relieve pain. Walking helps reduce the risk for blood clots and pneumonia. It also helps to stimulate your bowels so they begin working again.
  • Use your incentive spirometer. This will help your lungs expand, which prevents pneumonia. For more information, read How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer.

Commonly Asked Questions: During Your Hospital Stay

Will I have pain after my surgery?

You may have some pain after your surgery, especially in the first few days. Your doctor and nurse will ask you about your pain often. You will be given medication to manage your pain as needed. If your pain isn’t relieved, tell your doctor or nurse. It’s important to control your pain so you can cough, breathe deeply, use your incentive spirometer, and get out of bed and walk.

What side effects can I expect after my surgery?

It’s common to have some discomfort in your abdomen and shoulders after surgery. This is from the air that was pumped into your abdomen during surgery. Your discomfort should go away after a few days. Walking around can help with this. You should also drink 8 (8-ounce) glasses (2 liters) of liquids a day and make sure to take the stool softeners you received to prevent constipation.

You may also experience normal symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Talk with your doctor about ways to manage these symptoms.

What side effects can I expect after my D&C?

If you also had a D&C, you may have some vaginal spotting or light bleeding. Wear a pad or panty liner. Don’t use tampons or place anything in your vagina until your doctor says it’s okay. Don’t have sexual intercourse (sex) until your doctor say it’s okay. If you‘re having heavy bleeding, such as bleeding through a pad every 1 to 2 hours, call your doctor right away.

Will I be able to eat?

Yes, you will be able to eat a regular diet as tolerated. You should start with foods that are soft and easy to digest, such as apple sauce and chicken noodle soup. Eat small meals frequently, and then advance to regular foods.

If you experience bloating, gas, or cramps, limit high-fiber foods, including whole grain breads and cereal, nuts, seeds, salads, fresh fruit, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Commonly Asked Questions: At Home

Will I have pain when I am home?

The length of time each person has pain or discomfort varies. You may still have some pain when you go home and will probably be taking pain medication. Follow the guidelines below:

  • Take your medications as directed and as needed.
  • Call your doctor if the medication prescribed for you doesn’t relieve your pain.
  • Don’t drive or drink alcohol while you’re taking prescription pain medication.
  • As your incision heals, you will have less pain and need less pain medication. A mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) will relieve aches and discomfort. However, large quantities of acetaminophen may be harmful to your liver. Don’t take more acetaminophen than the amount directed on the bottle or as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
  • Pain medication should help you as you resume your normal activities. Take enough medication to do your exercises comfortably. Pain medication is most effective 30 to 45 minutes after taking it.
  • Keep track of when you take your pain medication. Taking it when your pain first begins is more effective than waiting for the pain to get worse.

Pain medication may cause constipation (having fewer bowel movements than what is normal for you).

How can I prevent constipation?

  • Go to the bathroom at the same time every day. Your body will get used to going at that time. However, if you feel the urge to go, don’t put it off.
  • Try to use the bathroom 5 to 15 minutes after meals. After breakfast is a good time to move your bowels. The reflexes in your colon are strongest at this time.
  • Exercise, if you can. Walking is an excellent form of exercise.
  • Drink 8 (8-ounce) glasses (2 liters) of liquids daily, if you can. Drink water, juices, soups, ice cream shakes, and other drinks that don’t have caffeine. Drinks with caffeine, such as coffee and soda, pull fluid out of the body.
  • Slowly increase the fiber in your diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cereals contain fiber. If you have an ostomy or have had recent bowel surgery, check with your doctor or nurse before making any changes in your diet.
  • Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to treat constipation. Start with 1 of the following over-the-counter medications first:
    • Docusate sodium (Colace®) 100 mg. Take _____ capsules _____ times a day. This is a stool softener that causes few side effects. Don’t take it with mineral oil.
    • Polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX®) 17 grams daily.
    • Senna (Senokot®) 2 tablets at bedtime. This is a stimulant laxative, which can cause cramping.
  • If you haven’t had a bowel movement in 2 days, call your doctor or nurse.

For more information, read our resource Constipation.

Can I shower?

You can shower 24 hours after your surgery. Taking a warm shower is relaxing and can help decrease muscle aches.

When you shower, remove your bandages and use soap to gently wash your incision. Pat the areas dry with a towel after showering. Leave your incision uncovered, unless there’s drainage. If you have drainage, place a new bandage over your incision. Call your doctor if you see any redness or drainage from your incision.

Don’t take tub baths until you discuss it with your doctor at the first appointment after your surgery.

How do I care for my incisions?

You will have several small incisions on your abdomen. The incisions are closed with Steri-Strips or Dermabond. You may also have square white bandages (Primapore®) on your incisions. You can remove these in the shower 24 hours after your surgery. You should clean your incisions with soap and water.

If any fluid is draining from your incisions, write down the amount and color. Call your doctor’s office and tell the nurse about any drainage from your incision.

If you go home with Steri-Strips on your incisions, they will loosen and fall off by themselves. If you go home with Dermabond on your incision, it will also loosen and peel off by itself. If the Steri-Strips and Dermabond haven’t fallen off within 10 days, you may remove them.

When can I resume sexual activity?

Your doctor will tell you when you can resume sexual activity during your first follow-up visit after surgery. Don’t place anything in your vagina or have sex until your doctor says it’s okay.

When is it safe for me to drive?

You can start driving again 2 weeks after surgery, as long as you aren’t taking pain medication that may make you drowsy.

What exercises can I do?

Doing aerobic exercise, such as walking and stair climbing, will help you gain strength and feel better. Gradually increase the distance you walk. Climb stairs slowly, resting or stopping as needed.

Ask your doctor or nurse before starting more demanding exercises.

Will I be able to travel?

Yes, you can travel. If you’re traveling by plane within a few weeks after your surgery, make sure you get up and walk every hour. Be sure to stretch your legs, drink plenty of liquids, and keep your feet elevated when possible.

When can I return to work?

The time it takes to return to work depends on the type of work you do, the type of surgery you had, and how fast your body heals. Most people can return to work about 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery.

When can I lift heavy objects?

Ask your doctor when it’s safe for you to lift heavy objects after your surgery. Normally, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 5 to 10 pounds (2.27 to 4.5 kilograms) for at least 4 weeks after your surgery.

When is my first appointment after my surgery?

Your first appointment after surgery will be in 2 to 4 weeks after you leave the hospital. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to make this appointment, including the phone number to call.

How can I cope with my feelings?

After surgery for a serious illness, you may have new and upsetting feelings. Many people say they felt weepy, sad, worried, nervous, irritable, and angry at one time or another. You may find that you can’t control some of these feelings. If this happens, it’s a good idea to seek emotional support.

The first step in coping is to talk about how you feel. Family and friends can help. Your nurse, doctor, and social worker can reassure, support, and guide you. It’s always a good idea to let these professionals know how you, your family, and your friends are feeling emotionally. Many resources are available to patients and their families. Whether you’re in the hospital or at home, the nurses, doctors, and social workers are here to help you and your family and friends handle the emotional aspects of your illness. You may also find it comforting to speak with a cancer survivor or caregiver who has been through a similar treatment. Through our Patient and Caregiver Support Program, you’re able to speak with former patients and caregivers. For more information, call 212-639-5007.

What if I have other questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, talk with your doctor or nurse. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, call 212-639-2000 and ask for the doctor on call for your doctor.

 

https://www.mskcc.org/sites/default/files/patient_ed/_shared/call_your_doctor_or_nurse_if_you-en.png

  • Have a temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Have shortness of breath
  • Have pain that doesn’t get better with pain medication
  • Have increased redness around your incisions
  • Have new or increased swelling around your incision
  • Have discharge from your incision
  • Have heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Have swelling or tenderness in your calves or thighs
  • Cough up blood
  • Don’t have a bowel movement for 2 days or longer
  • Have nausea or vomiting
  • Have diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements)
  • Have any questions or concerns
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Resources

This section includes a list of MSK support services, as well as the resources that were referred to throughout this guide. These resources will help you prepare for your surgery and recover safely. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

Educational Resources

MSK Support Services

Anesthesia
212-639-6840
Call if you have any questions about anesthesia.

Blood Donor Room
212-639-7643
Call for more information if you’re interested in donating blood or platelets.

Bobst International Center
888-675-7722
MSK welcomes patients from around the world. If you’re an international patient, call for help arranging your care.

Chaplaincy Service
212-639-5982
At MSK, our chaplains are available to listen, help support family members, pray, contact community clergy or faith groups, or simply be a comforting companion and a spiritual presence. Anyone can request spiritual support, regardless of formal religious affiliation. The interfaith chapel is located near the main lobby of Memorial Hospital and is open 24 hours a day. If you have an emergency, please call the hospital operator and ask for the chaplain on call.

Counseling Center
646-888-0200
Many people find that counseling helps them. We provide counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups, as well as medications to help if you feel anxious or depressed.

Integrative Medicine Service
646-888-0800
Integrative Medicine Service offers many services to complement (go along with) traditional medical care, including music therapy, mind/body therapies, dance and movement therapy, yoga, and touch therapy.

Look Good Feel Better Program
www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org
800-395-LOOK (800-395-5665)
This program offers workshops to learn things you can do to help you feel better about your appearance. For more information or to sign up for a workshop, call the number above or visit the program’s website.

Patient and Caregiver Support Program
212-639-5007
You may find it comforting to speak with a cancer survivor or caregiver who has been through a similar treatment. Through our Patient and Caregiver Support Program, you’re able to speak with former patients and caregivers.

Patient Billing
646-227-3378
Call if you have any questions about preauthorization with your insurance company. This is also called preapproval.

Patient Representative Office
212-639-7202
Call if you have questions about the Health Care Proxy form or if you have concerns about your care.

Perioperative Nurse Liaison
212-639-5935
Call if you have questions about MSK releasing any information while you’re having surgery.

Private Duty Nursing Office
212-639-6892
You may request private nurses or companions. Call for more information.

Resources for Life After Cancer (RLAC) Program
646-888-8106
At MSK, care doesn’t end after active treatment. The RLAC Program is for patients and their families who have finished treatment. This program has many services, including seminars, workshops, support groups, counseling on life after treatment, and help with insurance and employment issues.

Social Work
212-639-7020
Social workers help patients, family, and friends deal with issues that are common for cancer patients. They provide individual counseling and support groups throughout the course of treatment, and can help you communicate with children and other family members. Our social workers can also help refer you to community agencies and programs, as well as financial resources if you’re eligible.

Tobacco Treatment Program
212-610-0507
If you want to quit smoking, MSK has specialists who can help. Call for more information.

External Resources

Access-A-Ride
web.mta.info/nyct/paratran/guide.htm
877-337-2017
In New York City, the MTA offers a shared ride, door-to-door service for people with disabilities who can’t take the public bus or subway.

Air Charity Network
www.aircharitynetwork.org
877-621-7177
Provides travel to treatment centers.

American Cancer Society (ACS)
www.cancer.org
800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)
Offers a variety of information and services, including Hope Lodge, a free place for patients and caregivers to stay during cancer treatment.

Cancer and Careers
www.cancerandcareers.org
A resource for education, tools, and events for employees with cancer.

CancerCare
www.cancercare.org
800-813-4673
275 Seventh Avenue (Between West 25th & 26th Streets)
New York, NY 10001
Provides counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications, and financial assistance.

Cancer Support Community
www.cancersupportcommunity.org
Provides support and education to people affected by cancer.

Caregiver Action Network
www.caregiveraction.org
800-896-3650
Provides education and support for people who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability.

Corporate Angel Network
www.corpangelnetwork.org
866-328-1313
Offers free travel to treatment across the country using empty seats on corporate jets.

Gilda’s Club
www.gildasclubnyc.org
212-647-9700
A place where men, women, and children living with cancer find social and emotional support through networking, workshops, lectures, and social activities.

Good Days
www.mygooddays.org
877-968-7233
Offers financial assistance to pay for copayments during treatment. Patients must have medical insurance, meet the income criteria, and be prescribed medication that’s part of the Good Days formulary.

Healthwell Foundation
www.healthwellfoundation.org
800-675-8416
Provides financial assistance to cover copayments, health care premiums, and deductibles for certain medications and therapies.

Joe’s House
www.joeshouse.org
877-563-7468
Provides a list of places to stay near treatment centers for people with cancer and their families.

LGBT Cancer Project
http://lgbtcancer.com/
Provides support and advocacy for the LGBT community, including online support groups and a database of LGBT-friendly clinical trials.

LIVESTRONG Fertility
www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/fertility-services
855-744-7777
Provides reproductive information and support to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments have risks associated with infertility.

National Cancer Institute
www.cancer.gov
800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237)

National Cancer Legal Services Network
www.nclsn.org
Free cancer legal advocacy program.

National LGBT Cancer Network
www.cancer-network.org
Provides education, training, and advocacy for LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk.

Needy Meds
www.needymeds.org
Lists Patient Assistance Programs for brand and generic name medications.

NYRx
www.nyrxplan.com
Provides prescription benefits to eligible employees and retirees of public sector employers in New York State.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
www.pparx.org
888-477-2669
Helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get free or low-cost medications.

Patient Access Network Foundation
www.panfoundation.org
866-316-7263
Provides assistance with copayments for patients with insurance.

Patient Advocate Foundation
www.patientadvocate.org
800-532-5274
Provides access to care, financial assistance, insurance assistance, job retention assistance, and access to the national underinsured resource directory.

RxHope
www.rxhope.com
877-267-0517
Provides assistance to help people get medications that they have trouble affording.

SHARE
www.sharecancersupport.org
866-891-2392
Offers support groups for survivors of breast, metastatic breast, and ovarian cancer in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

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