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this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

42 REPLIES 42
Shelley61
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hi again OAL

Oh, I've just re-read your last post, and really can see where you're coming from - if you get them removed and then the doctor said it would have been ok to have kept them, yes it would be frustrating. There's just no easy answer is there? I wish you lived near me AND that I could do gel nails - I'd take them off for you before the op, and replace them with new ones afterwards for free!

Luv, Shelley xxx

Shelley61
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hello OAL,

I rather think you're going to keep the gel nails whatever... but please could I just add my voice in a little bit of advice. I think it's really important that they have access to at least one fingernail from each hand, because depending on your individual circumstances, that may affect on which side of your body (left or right hand/arm) they put the oxygen finger probe.

It's so important how you feel now, and also when you go down to theatre, so I sympathise with you wanting your new nails on, but getting an accurate reading of blood oxygen levels is so important. If they can monitor that easily, they'll know how you're recovering from the anaesthesia. This bloomin bc is bad enough - whatever decision you make, please make sure it's the most caring decision you can give yourself, taking everything into account.

With much love,
Shelley xxxx

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

OAL

Sorry your query has been hijacked.

I always understood that nail varnish was a no no for the same reasons you already have......checking the nail bed colour during the surgery.

Maybe this has changed due to better technology, and maybe one nail will be enough.

I can sympathise about the money I am like that also, I hate waste.

I am busy sourcing Head Squares and cannot believe the price of some headgear. (I've bought some material)

Enjoy your holiday. Have 1 or 2 bevvies for the beautifil, inspirational, shapely-headed women left on the site.

(((HUGS)))
June

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

OAL

Sorry your query has been hijacked.

I always understood that nail varnish was a no no for the same reasons you already have......checking the nail bed colour during the surgery.

Maybe this has changed due to better technology, and maybe one nail will be enough.

I can sympathise about the money I am like that also, I hate waste.

I am busy sourcing Head Squares and cannot believe the price of some headgear. (I've bought some material)

Enjoy your holiday. Have 1 or 2 bevvies for the beautifil, inspirational, shapely-headed women left on the site.

(((HUGS)))
June

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Alesta29

I am 5 weeks post MX op and 3 weeks post Anx. Nodal surgery.

I found that the corset they give you to wear immediately after the surgery can be very warm in hospital so I found my strappy camisole type PJ tops ideal. I could just push the 'bad' side down and out of the strap then push the whole lot down my legs. 3/4 length bottoms meant the support stockings made me look like a pantomime prince, but who cares when you are in that state.

Since coming home, I eventually 'lost' the corset after the second op and bought a front fastening sleep bra from the internet (PM me and I'll give you the site). Now, I have finally managed to get into a sports bra.

I wear leggings all the time, and have loose tops (that will go over my head - I count it towards my exercises).

Good Luck with the op. Just make sure YOU are comfortable whatever you wear, I would have still been in the corset as I found it so comfy and supportive to wear but a relief BCN put me into a bra one day.

Love June

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

oh clematis, i am a gardener, dog walker, general mucker abouter, and just thought for once in my life i would look respectable. and splashed the cost of having my hair done on the gel nails. If i had just had a manicure then they would be chipped before the end of the day.

its not the fact that i wont have pink nails that is the concern, its the waste of all that money. if i then pay to have them off and the doc says that they dont care that will be soooo frustrating.

I know compared to the results of the op and what might happen later this is extreamly unimportant, but it does not stop it being something i need the answer to.

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

I admit to not understanding the nail thing as I'm a gardener and haven't had gorgeous nails for years! I do think though that anything that could compromise your safety or well-being is just not worth the risk. I was told 'no nail varnish' by my bcn at pre-op. Its a shame to waste the expense of having them done but you could have them done again as a treat to lift your spirits post-surgery.
Take care, hope all goes well, x

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hi - I had my op 3 weeks ago and I also have gel nails, no one told me either but lucky the day before the op one of the nails peeled off. On the morning of the op they let me keep the gel nails on and instead attached the monitor to the finger that had the gel off of it and no one said anything else about it. I think they could check your toe nails instead but if there is any way to just remove one nail you might just get away with it. Also if you do decide to chance it make sure and take a heavy duty nail file and also nail clippers to help get them off if needed. The hospital does have nail polish remover but will take ages without clippers and file, hope that helps. xx and good luck

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hey all,
I went in for my mx with nail varnish on as didn't think about it, or read about it before-hand either - head in sand kind of scenario.
It was only noticed when I had to put suspension stockings and the nurses said it had to go because it was black polish (which is understandable given the very informative comments on here), which sort of gave me the impression that if it was a french manicure it may have been ok.
They gave me some remover, which was totally rubbish and after 20 mins of failing, came back with industrial strength stripper to attempt to remove it.

Post-op nightwear - I bought some cheap button through short sleeved cotton nighties (Matalan, white with little black hearts approx £9 I think), sort of mid thigh length and larger sized than needed - helped when I went to loo in night and had to drag a drain bag with me not having to pull PJ bottoms down half awake and juggle. I also bought a couple of cheap extra large sized ladies button through shirts, in addition to the shirts I borrowed from OH which I just put a nice belt around. Still struggle with overhead items 11 weeks on. Yoga/Jogging pants were a god send, as were elasticated maxi length skirts - in fact, anything I could put on one handed. I also found a cuddly teddy bear useful not only for 'cuddly comfort', but it acted like a tent in bed and kept the weight of the duvet covers off the surgery area too.

Didn't buy any post-op bra's - hadn't researched or thought about it (it all happens too quickly), have been wearing my bikini tops for last 12 weeks as couldn't stand anything tight around or near the chest area. They have worked well, but I've not had reconstruction yet, so not sure this could work for you as you may need support - I've seen front fastening post-op bras whilst looking for mastectomy bra's.

Hope this helps
Bev x

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

great news--well potentially. I rang the breast nurse this mroning before i got the train, and she said she has never come across the nail varnish issue, said she thought modern methods should have got past the need to look at the color of the fingers to see if you were in trouble.

anyway she agrees with me that it would be daft to be sent home on the day because of this, so she is going to ask the doctor and the gasman and get back to me. she was so nice to me flappying over such a silly thing, said she would be reluctant to waste the money as well if it was possible to keep them on.

as to nighties-- i would definately say pyjamas with button fronts. I have a pair of mens cottton pyjamas that i have sewn the flies up. Not very flattering but realy compfy, and they will be thrown away as soon as i do not need them

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Great thread and great sense of humour out there - there really are no trivial questions!

I have CT and bone scan on Friday and am pencilled in for MX, clearance & recon. on 5th July assuming nothing shows up to suggest I need radio/chemo.

Have been shopping for post-op nightwear and wondering what to get (given that I don't possess anything). Thought that the ideal would be something with buttons to get on easily (PJ's / nightie), soft cotton with short sleeves (hot flushes back with a vengeance since I had to stop HRT) and not too expensive - since I'll never wear it again. AND plain - no teddies, monkeys or stupid slogans!!!

I haven't had my pre-op yet but was wondering what to do about my belly piercing. I know I can't have metal but I was wondering about the soft plastic ones (Likely having an LD flap not abdominal). What have others done.

TIA

Laurie x

Ninja
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Oh aye, just imagine the gasman looking at your complexion for signs of change and it's a fixed Max Factor mask!
You really CAN see why they say this stuff...

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

When I had my op I was given a leaflet saying no make up and no nail varnish and was also told verbally at pre op appt. But I guess it is always worth asking. Good luck with op.
Eileen xx

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

The breast nurse rang whilst I was waiting for the train to France. She said she did not see any reason to take them off. Never remembers their being an issue in recent years. She is going to double check with the doctor and the gas man and leave me a message. She has worked on the surgical breast team for some time.

I have now been told that acetone and tin foil for 20 mins works. But that maybe normal gels. Mine are Jessica gels that I think need heat to get off

Ninja
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

As I stated above, nail polish doesn't affect function of the SPO2 finger probe. I wear it all the time when having mine checked with a NI (non-invasive) vital signs monitoring system.

However, it DOES affect the signs that a gasman looks for. Also, TBH, I personally wouldn't wear anything that could contain alcohol (e.g.perfume, aerosol deodorant) or other solvents (nail varnish even if allowed) in an OT full of piped O2 , electrical cautery systems etc etc.
Health & safety!

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

I'm a nail girl, gels, polish and sometimes acrylic. And yes it all must go! They can't get true oxygen reading etc, and they could cancel it.

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

OAL (should be YAF!)

Ask your nail person if soaking in bog-standard nail varnish with acetone will dissolve a nail? I seem to remember having to buy special nail polish remover that didn't contain acetone when I had them done a while back because regular remover would take the shine off, and eventually would take the whole thing off.

If your nail technician can reassure you then you will at least have the means of removing one nail per hand ready for the anaesthetist, if they insist on fingers and not just toes.

Absolutely NOT a trivial question either. I am absolutely pants at applying nail varnish and keeping it looking reasonable for longer than about 20 minutes. I had gel nails done and they looked fabulous for a fortnight, though they did eventually start peeling and then I picked them off - naughty girl. If you do find they start to peel after a few weeks, DON'T pick them off as you end up taking a layer of your nail with it, which is really not good for them.

Ninja
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Liz: "and all my finger nails have fallen off !!!!!
hows about that then folks, would they wait for the ends of my fingers to turn blue, lol"

They look at the colour (and re-colouring reaction if depressed) of the nail beds, visible through your nails. If your nails drop off, the nail beds are still visible.

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

gosh liz, our comments crossed. I now feel a total fraud. how can i be worried about the cost of removing gels when at least I still have all my fingernails.

puts it a bit into perspective for me

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

gosh that would work. I would not be in such a dither about this if i was not going away tomorrow and only coming back with a few hours spare the day before the op

Friends are alwasy asking what they can do, well i think I might ask one to get in touch with hosptal and get a definate answer and then arrange for an appointment to do whatever is needed at the very end of the afternoon before the op. A bit more work than I would normally ask someone to do for me, but I think it is worth it.

I am still amazed that it is not in the book.

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

hi i have a question,

sounds silly really, and as previously explained about the index finger and probe probably not even sensible,

but i had 6 tax, and all my finger nails have fallen off !!!!!

hows about that then folks, would they wait for the ends of my fingers to turn blue, lol

actually my fingernails are half attached 2 have completely come off but the rest are close behind

love liz xxx

xwelcomex
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hi..possible solution!

My friend had similar prob. Doc said they only needed one toe on each side visible. She had her big toes 'de-gelled' and had stick on nails put on those two only and painted to match. Then after the op, she had them re-gelled.

Worth a call to the unit to see if it's poss!

x

(Obviously , just unstuck the nails for the op!)

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Me again!
The nurse getting me ready for my op said that if they were waiting for my nails to go blue... it would be probably be too late!!
She was a scream!

Ninja
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

OaL: "Gosh does that mean if you are colour blind you cannot be a gas man??"

I guess. The chap or chapess who is checking for (say) cyanosis is bu**ered if s/he is unable to see it...

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

what a bummer! I don't think its trivial either, these things keep our spirits up - whats trivial about that?
have a lovely holiday xxx

Guest user
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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

HI O&L
I had my last surgery about six weeks ago and although I had no polish on my fingernails I did have it on my toenails... I just removed it from one big toe and they were happy with that.
It is not at all trivial... all these little thing make us feel better about ourselves and that can never be bad!!
Lots of luck x

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

looks like i am going to have to squeeze in a visit to the nail place then. I am not going to take any risks. what a waste of money. Makes me want to weep, well not literally, not resorted to tears at all yet.

wonder if the gas man can cope with just one nail on each hand so that he can see whichever side he happens to be. Gosh does that mean if you are colour blind you cannot be a gas man??

Ninja
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

GI Jane:"Get it taken off - they attach something to your finger and they need to see the colour of your "real" nail"

Not quite - you are referring to the SPO2 finger probe. It checks O2 sats in the circulation (percentage of oxygen carried in the haemoglobin in the blood). It works by passing an infra-red light from the emitter (one side of the probe that shines a red light) and this is received by the receiver on the other side of the probe. The percentage of IR that gets through indicates the level of O2 sats. It's the number on the vital signs monitor next to the pulse rate and is usually a number between 92 and 99.
The SPO2 probe WILL work with nail polish on the nail as the IR light is passed through the fingertip - usually an index finger.
Can you tell I work in medical engineering yet? ;o)

The reason that nail polish must be removed before an op, as so many have said, is because the anaesthetist (gasman) makes many checks on you while you are under the gas; one of these is the colour of the nail bed. I cannot imagine why any gasman would allow anyone to wear nail polish but it appears from posts above that some do.

TBH, I also cannot imagine why anyone would want to risk their life by the gasman being unable to detect their vital signs by any and every means possible for the sake of pretty nails.

It's prolly not specifically mentioned in "Breast Cancer" info because it's presumed to be common knowledge, like "don't let ward visitors with unknown germs sit on the bed of a patient with a serious illness" perhaps.

Edit: by the way, it's not trivial at all!

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

yes i have had it, and no it was not mentioned. I would have remembered because the nail appointment was booked

perhaps its because i turned up with no make up or nail varnish and they thought i was not the type.

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hi OAL have you not had your pre op app ? they tell you then you have to remove any nail polish.
enjoy your holiday sweetie xxx

Guest user
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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Sorry Old and Lumpy, but even what it states in a Breast Care book, it's pretty much in stone. Even if you were having a tooth out, the nail colour is a great guide for oxygen levels.

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

trouble is nail varnish remover will not get it off, i have to pay £20 for it to be taken off, of course if it necessary i will bite the bullet, but it would be annoying to do it and find that it would have been ok

elinda45
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Personally I wouldn't wear it. If you really don't want to remove it, why don't you take some good nail varnish remover and cotton wool with you and then if you have to take it off you can. But check before you reach the operating theatre!

I have to say I'm surprised at people being allowed to have it on. I used to be a nurse and it was a definite no-no because the anaesthetist may need to see how well-perfused the nails are. It's a precaution like many things.

I'm all for glamour at all times but perhaps this is an exception.

Elinda x

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

and why is it not in the book, everything else is there, make-up jewellery deoderant etc Just checked again, its the breast cancer care book, that should be accurate

oldandlumpy
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

well at my pre-op assesment when they wanted to take blood i persuaded them that it was not worth ruining my day, and they agreed not to take any.

perhaps there is more patient power nowadays.

hopefully someone else will come along that kept theirs on. i might write an old fashioned letter to the cancer nurse for her to answer whilst i am away

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

The ladies are right. The anethatist (sp) needs to check the nail colour while you are under.

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

ps , had my wle and snb with hot pink toes!!!!

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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

hi, OAL! good 4 u getting r bits and bobs done before ur hol and op! my hubby treated me 2 luxury manicure and pedi couple days b4 my op.had the natural pink polish i think u said? looked very pretty! i refusedc to take mine off and nurse agreed. gosh was only under anaestetic 4 couple of hrs and i wanted to have pretty nails after. and a nice merlot. love alex xxx

lisha
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Hi i had my operation 2 weeks ago and was told before i went to make sure i had no nail varnish ,make up or jewelry on . Hope that helps.
Have a fab holiday .
Lisha xx

Guest user
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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Sorry - but you can't wear nail varnish in an op. It's because they use your nail colour as a marker of your circulation.

I know, I know - you'd think that in this day and age they'd have something a bit more technical but that's the way it is still.

I took mine off last week, to reveal toes that looked like they belonged to a corpse, fortunately they can't have just used this to inform them of my life status or i may have ended waking up in an undertakers!

You can buy nail varnish remover for gel/acrylic nails, maybe you could have some of this ready for when you get home.

Guest user
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Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

I have been told in the past that one of the indications of oxygen deprivation is that your finger nails and toe nails start to go blue, which is why they ask you to remove nail varnish.
Jen

GIJaneH
Member

Re: this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

Get it taken off - they attach something to your finger and they need to see the colour of your "real" nail..... your friend is right I'm afraid. They keep packs of nail varnish remover in theatre, but that won't help the gel.. enjoy the holiday though! Jane

oldandlumpy
Member

this must be the most trivial pre-op question yet

I have searched and searched the book they gave me about next weeks surgery. it talks about deoderant, cream, false teeth piercings but says nothing about nail varnish.

i am a slut, never look after my nails, with gardening drumming and dogs it would be a loosing battle.

tomorrow at crack of dawn i set off on a weeks holiday , and go into get my WLE the day I get back and thought I would lash out and get gel nails to look a bit more groomed and glamorous over the next few weeks. not what i would normally spend on me, but hey once in a lifetime treat. fingers and toes now a pretty chip free pink.

After I had them done the subject of the op came up and she looked horrified,' but you cannot have surgery with nail polish on, they will try and take it off and then when they can't they will cancel the op"

all complete news to me--its done now, cannot get hold of the breast nurse before i go to ask, no time to ask her when i get back. wonder if the help line is open?

should i just play safe and pay for them to be taken off over in france, or is the girl completely wrong. I am sure it would be in the book if that is what is required. Just discussed it with a friend and she said of course you cannot wear nail varnish during an operation--everyone knows that.

So help girls--is this true?? what should i do?