Facial Surgery: Nov. 6 Following Melanoma Removal. Strong Odor? Cause?

I had facial surgery called a Flap? on Nov. 6 following removal of a large melanoma near my nose. Size of a large tablespoon. Now I am experiencing a strong obnoxious odor around the healing area. I can not send a picture. I don't know how. Can you please help me. I need to know if it an infection since I will be taking care of grandchildren tomorrow.

Doctor Answers 6

Strong Odor Following Surgery

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A strong odor at the surgery site is not normal. It may be the result of an infection or necrotic (dead) tissue. Contact your surgeon right away and have him/her examine the area. Good luck.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Odor After Melanoma Removal

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Thank you for your question. This is a very pointed question, which would require physician evaluation. Infections typically can smell, but do not necessarily have to; for the best direction as to how to proceed, schedule an appointment with your surgeon as soon as possible, and start treatment, wound care and/or antibiotics as directed. I hope this helps.

Strong odor after Mohs and skin flap

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I'm sorry to say I agree with the other posts that this is not normal. It would most likely be an infection or a possible problem with the flap itself, which is causing necrosis or tissue death. It is good you asked this question. And more importantly, it's good to call your physician and ask to be seen immediately, because this isn't normal and needs an in-person evaluation quickly.

Strong odor in wound after Mohs

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Strong odors in healing wounds are not normal and the surgical site needs to be seen by your surgeon an assessed for infection, loss of blood supply and tissue death.  Cultures may need to be taken to determine if there is a bacterial cause.  Get in to see your doctor today.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Contact your surgeon

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I agree with the post below. I would contact your physician who did the melanoma excision and flap. If you had the surgery on Nov 6, it is now 23 days later and that is not the typical in terms of the time course of an infection but the fact there is an odor to it would be something that should be evaluated further in my opinion based on what you are saying. Good luck.

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mohs Surgery

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I encourage you to contact your surgeon as soon as possible for an appointment.  You may have an infection.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.