July 1, 2014 - MOHs Surgery on Nose - 45 Year Old Female - Phoenix, AZ

I have had malignant melanoma in the past, so skin...

I have had malignant melanoma in the past, so skin cancers are a part of my life. But, this time, it was more concerning because it was on my face! At first, I was relieved to hear that it "was only bcc" and not melanoma, so I immediately discounted it to not a big deal. Then, after reasearching MOHs, I became totally freaked out and overwhelmed.

Many people said, "Quit looking at the internet" and such, but for me, I had to be educated before I went in. Although it may have made me more nervous, I felt educated and was ready for the worst case scenario. I think if I hadn't been ready, I would have been totally freaked out in the end. Thankfully, I only had one layer removed and was relieved. However, the repair with the skin flap resulted in more cutting and stitches, but again, I was ready for this after my research.

Overall, I was relieved and pleased with the results on the day of the surgery. Now, just need to go through the healing process and be patient while things heal.

Day 2

I woke up with my left eye fairly swollen and hard to open fully for a few hours, and my left cheek was swollen and slightly bruised. It was not necessarily painful, just swollen. I was able to get a shower and change my bandage, no problem. I am still very pleased with the results and anxious to get the stitches out next week. They said that once the stitches come out, the healing with progress quickly for the first two weeks or so and there should be significant improvement.

Day 7 - Stitches Removed

Today was the one week mark and they removed my stitches. I am still pleased with the results and looking forward to the healing. I will have red, bumpy, and swelling for quite a while, but I am hoping that I can cover it okay with some makeup. I am feeling much better today.

I hope that these posts are helpful to others whom are dealing with the idea of MOHs and trying to get more educated on the various possibilities and outcomes. I did a lot of research prior to my surgery and for me, it was helpful...and, yes, very concerning.

3 Weeks - Post Surgery

Makeup helps and most people don't readily notice it, but it is still very bumpy, rough, and red. And, my nose is still swollen, which they said will take several months to go down. But, I am getting more used to it and able to go out in public for work and not be too worried. This is definitely a long healing process.
Dr. Ochoa

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I am having MOHS on my nose Aug. 20, in less than 3 weeks. I have not seen the surgeon yet, was referred by my dermatologist, had a recurrence of BCC, in just abou the same place as yours. I am in Canada, so insurance covers it. I am terrified, and my nerves and anxiety have caused old IBS symptoms to flare up. I live alone, retired, age 63, and am concerned about how long it will take to heal. We have very cold winters here, and wonder how that will affect the nose. I have been reading on-line about the process, and yes, I am pretty worried. I used to work in a hospital, and am not squeamish, but wonder about how I will sleep, etc (usually sleep on right side). I have many concerns, and not too much help. I am glad to have found this site, and will keep reading. Thank you for the pictures. Oh, how did you bandage the nose, and how long did you keep it covered? Thanks
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I had Mohs surgery on the tip of my nose three days ago and my defect looked exactly like yours. I'm experiencing a lot of redness on my entire nose. I was wondering if you had a lot of redness the first few days and if so, when that went away. The flap performed by the plastic surgeon looks almost identical to yours. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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I also meant to sayThank you. The encouraging words mean a lot from someone who has been there. We told our kids about my needing to have surgery and they noticed me looking at your pictures on the computer. They looked at them all and were relieved when they saw how good you turned out and they ask ; " how long did it take to look that good!?" I said 3 weeks. It will be okay then. Enough said, out of the mouths of babes:)
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I think it looks great! From the angle of the picture, it looks pretty smooth and will continue to get better with time. It appears to have good even closure, no gaps or big humps. I've seen a few come back to the O.R. for revision. Most, with some small tweaking made just the right improvement. Most of those really needed the initial healing in order to see how it would come together. I know my eyes are used to looking for the obvious irregularity. So its easy to look so closely at our selves, especially after something like this. I know I will too, and I don't look forward to it. I have seen some really great results with time, so Im with you, stay positive and have faith.
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Thank you for sharing!!! Your healing nicely, very kind of you to share this part. Often we see before but not after. Very bravely you to be informed. I have just been diagnosed with Lentigo melanoma on my cheek. I'm scheduled just one week later for mohs and have a plastic surgeon on standby for 2 days later. I'm in denial, I know. I'm an OR nurse of 20 years, so I know the before but not the healing stages after. I pray for peace and patience for your healing.
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I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but glad that you caught it and getting it taken care of. I can definitely understand your "denial" as I was a mess leading up to the surgery, And, with you being a nurse, you have a lot of exposure to different scenarios. I pray that your procedure goes well and the excision is as minimal as it possibly can be. I think you will be surprised and how you are able to cope once it is done. I didn't think I would either, but stay positive and have faith. And, thank you for sending healing wishes my way. I will post another pic on the weekend which will be four (4) weeks from surgery. Seeing progressive photos of others really helped me prepare and understand more.
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Your healing looks great. It really came a long way in only a week. How are you doing now?
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So appreciate your sharing. I have has 7 mosh surges on my face mostly around the nose area n scalp. I am always shocked at the size a tiny pin point ca turn into a joke on the nose. It is always always scary . I am sitting here right now with a hole on the side of my nose trying to figure out I need to have a plastic surgeon do something or let it heal on its own
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I hope your healing is going well and curious which route you chose...plastic surgery or healing on its own. I met a woman who let hers heal on its own and she looks amazing. Kinda second guessing getting the flap because of the surface right now, but will have to give it more time. Prayers for a speedy recovery and hope this finds you well.
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Had the Mohs surgery on my nose and I am 3 weeks out. Not real happy with the results as the flap has pulled away from the adjacent skin leaving a crescent moon shaped deep ravine in my nose. The doctor says we can go back after the incision has healed and do (derma brasion ) and it will lesson the scaring. Now looking back I would have passed on the surgery after the initial biopsy. But the down side of that decision would have been living with the risk of not have gotten the cancer completely. So there you have it! Still having to wear a bandaid over the tip of my nose as the scaring is quite disturbing and I deal with the public in sales everyday. Good news is that God has not allowed this to affect my sales! Thank you Lord! ;)
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since the last one on the side of my nose that was closer to the crease healed so well I couldnt even tell it was ever done myself, I decided to go with the mohs surgeon advice again even tho it is a little higher up on the nose but still on the side. It has been two week and pretty much looks the same. It takes a very very long time for these to heal on their own.. at least a year so it is a close call as to which way to go. The other side of my nose had a very large one and I had a plastic surgeon close it. I dont think I would have wanted the mohs surgeon to do it. The doctor took tissue out of under my cheek and filled in this massive area (almost the whole side of my nose) I have a scar but seriously no one notices it unless i pointit out. Im hoping for the best on this one. I have another to do right under the big massive area that was done previously. Guess I will wait to see how large that is before deciding what to do about that one. By the way, sometime going down only once doesnt mean a small area.......the massive one was one time down -- they say the surgeon can often time tell as they go along because of the texture or softness or something. I personally think the doctor was in a hurry and had over booked and since he knew I had already decided on closing by a plastic surgeon , he just went for it . HE IS NO LONG WORKING AT MY DERMATOLOGIST OFFICE......why I dont know but I put in a big complaint at the advice of my plastic surgeon. Thank you for your good wishes........Ill post a picture again if I can figure out how when it shows some improvement. Right now it looks like in the distant future.
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Had the exact same surgery in the same area on the same day. My incision is very simular to yours. My stiching is very similar to yours as well. My stiching did not need to be removed as yours did. My scaring is more pronounced and am wondering if the stiching played a factor in this? My return appointment is still 8 days out. 16 days for my follow up appt. Is this standard practice as well? Thank you for your post. Any replies will be much appreciated.
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My apologies for the delayed reply, as I have not been online. I hope your recovery is going well. I am curious how your follow up went and If the scarring is minimizing with time. Mine is still very bumpy and red, but looking better, I suppose. I will have the abrasion in late September to smooth the skin back down, but I am a little worried about that, as well. I will post a pic on the weekend to show the four week progress. I hope this finds you well and healing nicely. This stuff really stinks, right :)
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Question for all. I am paying for this mohs procedure out of my pocket. Have spent close to 3k so far. Not happy with the results of the mohs on my nose as the flap pulled away due to no fault of my own. A risk of the procedure i suppose? My question is this, should the surgeon be responsible for " cleaning this up" or should I be liable and have to pay for the second derma braising? Thank you all for your participation. This forum has been a great help to me. :)
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Did your surgeon have you sign a document of any kind saying you were aware of the risks etc etc. I know I did this last time - I forget if I had to before but I probably did. It is too bad you dont have insurance coverage. I would certaily discuss it with your doctor but Im going to guess that they will just say that is a risk we take with mohs. I dont quite understand how Mohs is supposed to leave the lessor of the scars and cause the lease damage yet we know what sometiomes happens. We are hardly ever really happy with the results and are astonished as how big an area comes from a little pin prick place you find or simply a rough patch. None are what we would normally suspect as cancer and I have found most myself and brought it to the attention of the doctor. I can tell you that it will look better and better as time goes on and you will find that no one will notice but you. I have had one nasty place that I thought looked like I went through a windshield and barely visable to anyone but me. Give it time but in the meantime it doesnt hurt to talk frankly with your surgeon. If you have to get additional on your own maybe you should go to a plastic surgeon to see if a better result can be done at this point. Good luck. Im sitting here two weeks after my surgery and it looks the same on the side of my nose as the day after.........It will be a very long time before it heals - I just hope it fills in and Im not left unhappy .
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Thank you for your encouraging words. Let me encourage you as well...you are not going through this alone. :) Thank you again! God bless you
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Welcome to RealSelf and thanks for sharing your experience so far. The worst part is over now and I hope your healing goes well.

I'll keep checking in on you. :) Please keep us posted with how you're doing!
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