OVC Surgeon’s

Surgical Doctors

I was wondering if any of you had a regular gynaecologist do your surgery OR you had to wait for a  Gynaecological Oncology Surgeon to do your surgery? I’m on the west coast and was referred to our BC Cancer Agency back in April.  After 2 chemo sessions I finally got an appointment with a surgeon. I was so excited to finally hear about my surgery date because my CT Scan showed excellent shrinkage, all ascites gone, organs are normal and my CA125 markers went from 297 in May to 35 mid July.  My Oncologist was very happy with the results & was going to book me for post surgery chemo after my 3rd chemo.  BUT when I met with the surgeon, I was told that there’s a 4-6 week surgical wait list ( my jaw dropped & my eyes teared up) I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I should’ve been on this wait list months ago. They felt I might as well get a 4th chemo while I wait.  There’s 8 Gynaecological Oncology Surgeons in B.C.  Maybe I should get an experienced Gynaecologist to do the surgery, so I can LIVE?! I get the feeling that people don’t die of the cancer, it’s from the waiting of needed surgical treatment.  I’ve lost all hope!  Our medical system is overcrowded and spread very thin. 

I can see a surgical wait list for knee or hip replacement but not for Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer!

Sorry I had to vent, I’m at wits end. I’ve been very patient until now.  I’ve been looking into my symptoms since January and now it’s getting a bit too much to handle. I feel lost in a queue.


  • Hi Lucy - I'm so sorry you're going through this.  I don't actually have anything helpful to advise, but I just wanted to say that venting is good, and this is a great place to do it, because most of us have been through some kind of nasty experience like yours.  

    Can your oncologist offer any help in getting moved up the queue, or even your family doctor?  
  • @LUCY_BC I'm so sorry to hear of your dilemma. I can feel your frustration and disappointment.  Somehow we all end up in a queue at some point, were it by virtue of Covid, or understaffing or all manner of reasons causing wait times not in line with our expectations of urgency.  That said, yes, wait for an surgical oncologist.  You need someone trained in the aspects of our disease to conduct that surgery.  A general gynecology surgeon won't have that expertise. 

    As for the delay, I think you can rest assured that the effects of your pre surgery chemo continue for some time. It's not as if in the gap between chemo and surgery the cancer starts growing aggressively again and you lose the benefit of the sessions you've had.  This shouldn't disadvantage you and in fact it seems room for one more chemo session which should be of additional benefit to a successful surgery. 

    Yes, you have reason to be angry and disillusioned.  I'm in the Ontario system but one thing that seems quite common is a inability on the part of the medical profession to manage our expectations well.  Really it's all about communication and transparency so we know what lies ahead and what to expect. And not the fault of he professionals. It's just not something put as a priority in their training. But I can say I have noticed a positive change in that direction.  

    Do let your oncologist know of your disappointment.  Ensure he/she and the surgeon are both aware you can be available quickly if an earlier opening arises and remind them periodically to keep your name front and centre. This is all part of advocating for yourself. Something we don't feel should be necessary but is. 

    There is a local support group out your way. I'm not sure how often or how they meet. I think possibly zoom.  Some of that group might have input for you. If you'd like information on the group, or to join, contact Tracy Kolwich at Ovarian Cancer Canada and she can fill in the information for you.  [email protected] 

    Try to be patient. I know... easier said than done. But you will find the time will pass quickly.  Please continue to reach out when needed and do let us know how you're doing.  You are not alone, and in our thoughts.
  • Hi Lucy,
    I am sorry to hear of everything you are going through. Just wanted to say I can relate to the frustration in waiitng for surgery. I was told today that mine will not be before Aug 10 (they didn't say when after that date).

    The frustration is maddening!
    Good luck to you! 
  • @Brenda, so sorry you're having the same challenge as is @LUCY_BC I know she's in the BC system. Wondering if same for you or the backlog issue is becoming more prevalent across the country.  

    Love the discussion topic you opened today. Ways to make time fly can be useful for all of us when faced with waiting, whether treatment or, in many cases, for those critical scan and blood work results.  I'll try to contribute myself but hoping more of our members weigh in. In fact, I'll mention it to the gals who join in at our weekly Thursday live chat.  Many of them are in treatment currently and I"m sure have their own strategies for keeping occupied in a positive way.  And you're welcome to join us any Thursday.  Just sign in at 1pm EST and click on the discussion topic TEAL THURSDAY and that will pop you into our discussion that day.  

  • kastoyleskastoyles ✭✭✭
    @LUCY_BC - I can understand your frustration in having to wait. As @Fearless - Vol Mod  said, you will continue to get the benefits of the chemo until your surgery.  My surgery was done by a gynecologist. At the time he didn't expect my tumour was cancerous, however, the pathologist said otherwise.  When I saw the gynecological oncologist, he indicated that he would have done the surgery differently knowing there was cancer present.  Ask to be put on a cancellation list - who knows you may get lucky and have the date moved up. Stay positive!  The time will pass quicker than you think.  Hugs!

  • @Fearless - Vol Mod I'm in Quebec. I was called for pre-op next week then another ct so I'm hoping surgery will be in August. In the meantime, I'm try to enjoy vacation at home!

    I will try to join Teal Thursdays when I am free. Unfortunately I can't this week, but I put it on my schedule for next week!
Sign In or Register to comment.