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After Surgery Experience

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I have posted several times asking about what to expect after mohs surgery and a skin graft. There has been no reply so let me share my experience..

There was a basal cell cancer on the right side of my nose

the doctor performed mohs which means that a local is given and the cancer is removed a "little" at a time. The removed particle is viewed by a pathologist to see if the cancer is present. If it is the doctor removes a "little" more until he is successful.

This procedure took about three hours in my case ....As the removal takes place you go to a waiting room until the results are known..Then return for more surgery until they get it all.

The cavity created by this removal caused quite a large cavity so my doctor took skin from in front of my ear and grafted it onto my nose. The skin graft took an additional 1 1/2 hours.

Both areas are bandaged. You remove them 24 hours later and clean with proxide and apply polysporim and rebandage. There will be some blood on the bandage from your nose. I was very concerned about this and made several calls to my doctor and was assured that this was normal. You will see less and less as the days go by.

You will return to have your stitches removed two weeks from the surgery. "strip" bandages will be applied to both sites and they will everntually drop off.

At this time I still must apply poly to my nose but the donar site is completly healed. The skin graft is very light in color and is slightly swelled. The doctor says it will be several months before it looks normal.

There is very little pain involved in this process. The worse part is ensuring that you don't bump or roll over on the site while sleeping.

You can search the internet forever and find a lot of info on mohs but nothing on what to expect for the first few weeks after surgery. I hope that this helps someone.
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First Helper USNCHIEF

replied June 8th, 2006
3 Years Post Skin Graph
I had a skin graph above my right eye (about 4 cm in diameter). The donor site was from my groin. The thing that I have noticed since surgery is that the skin colouration is a great deal lighter than my facial skin. I thought that over time it would eventually blend but it hasn't. But I suppose the alternative was to leave the skin cancer which is not ideal....
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replied June 20th, 2006
I'll be having mohs next week, and it was helpful to read about your experience.
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replied May 20th, 2009
I just had a large squamous cell carcinoma remooved from my nose with full thickness graft from the skin/cartilage taken from behind my right ear flap.
The procedure was done using both local anesthetic and twilight sleep drug so I was completely asleep. When I woke I had no pain a pack dressing behind my ear and a large pressure bolster dressing on my nose which was sutured to my nose to prevent movement of the dressing. I stayed overnight in the hospital and went home with instructions to use ice packs, take panadol if needed, don't do any strenuous activity, sleep with head elevated. I returned to the doctor the following week (day 7) had dressings removed and sutures out of nose and new dressings applied and instructions to change them daily with shower and then salt bathe dry gently and replace. This was most difficult to do on my own and I was not comfortable with look of nose, I managed somehow, making sure to keep things as clean as possible to avoid any infection. Day 14 I returned to clinic for check, nose tissue was debrided of extra dead skin and ear no longer required dressing, and I was told it would take sometime for disposable sutures in my ear to dissolve and skin to stretch back to give ear a better look. Nose is now at day 21 since surgery,graft has taken it looks very glossy and red at the moment and some ridging is present around the edge, I continue to clean daily in shower and reapply sterile dressing and it would seem it is going to be under wraps for some time to come, there is no pain with the nose only occaisonally tingling where nerve endings are obviously growing back, The ear remains very tight, swollen and painful. I have taken staging photos of the nose out of interest to see the changes.
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replied May 21st, 2010
I to had surgery on the right side of my nose. Bandage for one week the tape was making my face really itchy so I removed nose looks awful with dried blood around the sight. the worst part is the smell it smells like toe jam I know this sounds disgusting but there is no other way to explain it. This is making me notious. Any suggestions.
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