After surgery, my lip has swollen to 4 or 5 times its normal size. Is this normal or should I consider ER treatment?

I had Mohs surgery on the 3rd of July just above my upper lip & the repair involved stitching in and around the lip. I was expecting some swelling but not what I see this morning. My lip is 4 or 5 times normal size & I still have a day or so to go for max swelling (according to my instruction sheet). I see nothing for me to do as far as swelling. Is this normal or should I be looking at a ER visit.

Doctor Answers 2

Swelling from Mohs

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Swelling from Mohs is very normal. It can be frightening to patients how much an area will swell, but remember that during the procedure a lot was done to keep excess blood flow from that area, so when it starts again, it's quite frequent to have a lot of swelling. I don't think you need to go to the ER, and I don't think they can really help. Ice it, make sure to keep your head elevated.

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Swelling after Mohs Surgery

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Swelling after any surgical procedure is to be expected.  Loose areas like the lips or around the eyes often exhibit a great deal of swelling during the first few days.  If the swelling continues and if there is a great deal of discoloration or bruising, it might be advisable to have your physician examine the area to insure the swelling is not due to excessive bleeding.   Fortunately, this is very uncommon.

Richard Asarch, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon

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