I have a suspected BCC on my eyelid which was wrongly diagnosed as a recurrent infection. It bleeds occasionally. I am seeing a specialist in three days for a biopsy. If it is BCC will have Mohs Surgery and reconstruction. I estimate I might have had this for up to two years. I'm booked to go on holiday for three weeks shortly after the biopsy. Should I go or stay for the biopsy? I understand that can take two weeks anyway. Thanks!
Going on a Holiday After Mohs Surgery?
Doctor Answers 8
Holiday After Eyelid Biopsy
You should go on your vacation. So long as you take good care of the wound after the biopsy and have medical care available if necessary, you shouldn't have to worry. Once you have the results of the biopsy you can schedule the Mohs surgery if necessary. After that surgery and reconstruction I would recommend remaining in the area since the procedure and reconstruction will likely be more involved and you would like to have the responsible surgeon nearby for any unforseen problems like bleeding or infection.
Vacation and biopsy and/or Mohs surgery
Traveling a couple days after suture removal of a punch biopsy should be fine as long as there is no complication such as secondary infection, hematoma or wound dehiscence. As for Mohs micrographic surgery, you may want to wait a week after suture removal as steri-strip application sometimes may be required post-op.
Basal cell on the eyelid
If you are going on vacation and getting a biopsy beforehand it should be ok. The biopsy site should heal well on the eyelid and the results will take 1-2 weeks to get back. When you return if it is basal cell, you will have to coordinate the excision with a Mohs surgeon and oculoplastic surgeon which make take a couple weeks to get in both surgeons' schedules.
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Biopsy recovery time
Typically skin biopsies heal very well on the face. They usually heal within a week. The size and the technique would be the variables. Biopsies performed on the cutaneous eyelid often result in disproportionate swelling and bruising as would be seen on other locations.
Have the biopsy, then enjoy vacation
I would definitely recommend having the biopsy prior to vacation. Depending on the depth of the biopsy, the site should be almost healed by the time you're ready for holiday. If Mohs surgery is necessary, you can schedule after you've enjoyed your holiday.
Treatment sooner rather than later is best with skin cancer, particularly on the eyelid. Waiting until after vacation will only delay treatment.
Biopsy and vacation
Have the lesion biopsied. Depending on where the biopsy is done, the physician may tell you to use Aquaphor or Vaseline to the area or erythromycin ophthalmic ointment so that it doesn't bother you if it melts and gets into your eye a little bit. Keep it clean while on vacation and if it is a basal cell, try to schedule your Mohs within 4 - 6 weeks of diagnosis. A result from a biopsy should not take more than 10 days.
Biopsy before holiday
I think 3 weeks is a comfortable cushion for biopsying the lesion before your trip. I would, however, delay the Mohs surgery until after your trip.
The exact site and size matter. Assuming small biopsy size, you can go on your trip. But note the following: There will be a scab that forms and falls off in about a week. Applying ointment during the healing period may blur your vision if it gets in your eye. Sun protection is advised.