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I Had Mohs Surgery Three Years Ago.. I Recently Developed Numbness in the Area. Is This Normal? What Can Be Done About It?

The surgery was on the side of my head.

Doctor Answers (3)

I had Moh's Surhery three years ago. I recently developed numbness in the area. Is this normal? What can be done about it?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.  Your description sounds uncommon - you should followup with your surgeon due to the acute changes. 

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness from Mohs Surgery

+1

Please follow up with your surgeon regarding this, as this could be an indication of nerve damage or a potential recurrence of the tumor. Rather than guess, a follow up evaluation with your provider is indicated based on this symptom this long after an initial surgery.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Mohs

+1

Numbness under grafts and flaps are normal. It usually improves over time. For a sudden change years later I would be concerned something is happening under neath your surgery. I suggest following up with your surgeon

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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