Face Healing Question After MOHS?

I had MOHS by fellowship doctor 2 weeks ago to remove basal cell cancer. Removal incision was along left side of nose along the natural seam there. After 1 week nurse said looks good stitches dissolved keep bandage on 1 more week, keep Vaseline on it and after one month massage. I removed the bandage at 2 weeks lot of bumps on it but the main concern for now is in the middle there is like 1mm deep sort of fissure running vertical next to the nose. Will that fill in over time or will I need more work?

Doctor Answers 5

Face Healing and Dissolving Stitches

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I think the problem was or is the dissolving stitches. As the body dissolves them, sometimes the body irritates the skin, making the bumps, and weakening the suture line. A one millimeter fissure in that area is not a problem and should heal fine.

However based on your report, you might ask for non-dissolving sutures if and when you ever need skin surgery again.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

Healing from Mohs

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Depending on the size of the site that was removed and the number and placement of sutures, it can take a long time for the site to completely heal and to get a real understanding of what the area is going to look like. I usually assess after about 6 months if any post surgical alterations would be needed. Until then, the site is sensitive and healing, and so it's just too hard to say if you will need something else done to the site. Most often, I would say you will not, but give it some time, then assess.

Healing Process After Mohs Surgery

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Thank you for your question. Typically this will fill in over time. I recommend making an appointment with your surgeon to have the wound evaluated, and to be sure there is no concomitant infection, which could potentially impair or slow healing. I hope this helps.

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Opening along suture line after surgery

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Some patients may get a little open area along a suture line. If so, caring for the wound by applying a petrolatum-based ointment (i.e. Vaseline, Aquaphor, Bacitracin, Polysporin, Neosporin, Bactroban) will aid with healing.

In some other cases, the suture line appears as a valley, where the area appears healed over, but like the two sides did not completely join and are just slightly separated.

The good news is, that in both instances the site usually heals fine over several months. The skin takes 12-18 months to fully heal and the body does a pretty good job of making things right. In some cases, a touch-up procedure is needed to improve the site.

Robert S. Bader, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Healing after Mohs

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Your healing sounds pretty normal for patients after surgery. I think you probably had dissolving sutures and the redness that you see is due to suture that is in the process of resorbing. I would stop the vaseline and allow things to heal.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.