Two weeks ago, I had 3 shave biopsies done &was told that I needed excision biopsies on 2 of the sites where my moles were located before being removed.
I had the first excision biopsy done on my left "lateral" breast this morning at 8 am. My derm administered some local anesthesia so obviously I felt nothing. I asked her if I needed to miss work, would it hurt afterwards etc. She said I didn't need to miss work& there would be minimum pain. I haven't had stitches before so maybe this is normal (&I know a lot of you going through treatments etc are experiencing far more severe pain) BUT I have to ask, are you supposed to feel sharp, shooting pain over 12 hrs later?? She said to take extra strength Tylenol but it didn't help. Anytime I move my arm it aches because my arm naturally rests right on the excision site. Anyone else experience this? I know there's a chance of infection with any surgery, minor or not. I don't see how I will be able to function at work tomorrow if I'm in pain :/
I'm always a little confused by this, but I guess some docs do things differently. On the area where the excision biopsy was done today, was there evidence of cancer? I'm assuming "yes," but you don't state that here.
I've had a melanoma on my left knee, and had a wide excision there. My surgeon did that as an outpatient, and the anesthesiologist used a twilight anesthesia (a type of general). I was off from work for one week. Now, there was a big chunk of skin taken, and because of where the melanoma was located, I really couldn't bend my knee. I do recall some pain - not really that bad - the day of surgery after I got home, and a little bit the next day, but not terrible pain. The surgeon gave me Demerol (I think), because I do not handle Vicodin very well. I think I took one, maybe? But the pain was maneable.
I have heard of people having excisions while under a local anesthesia, and being able to go back to their daily activities either the same day or the next. I've always been amazed at that. But then, the folks that I've seen who have been in those circumstances have had incisions that were relatively small. The incision on my knee is roughly 3" long and went all the way down to the knee cap, so maybe mine was just more extensive.
I would say give your excision until tomorrow morning. If you are still in pain and discomfort, talk to your doctor. I would expect some pain/discomfort the day of surgery. By the day after, depending on the extent of the surgery/procedure, I would expect a lessening of pain/discomfort. If not, a call to the doctor is definitely in order.
After the initial shave biopsies, there was not evidence of cancer. My dermatologist told me that the pathology results stated that the 2 moles were "pre melanoma". She explained that they were atypical. Taking into account that there is a history of malignant melanoma in my family and that I have a lot of moles all over my body, the pathologist recommended that my derm remove 5 mm margins from where my moles were removed. I ended up needing 8 stitches, so the incision wasn't very large, about 2". I received a call the day after and all the nurse said was the report came back "fine". So, now I just have to wait Tuesday to have the second excision done. I was just told this was all a precaution to remove the suspicious moles which "could" but not necessarily will become melanoma.
I wasn't prescribed any medication. I was told to take extra strength Tylenol. I did call the clinic to ask if I could take anything else for pain because Tylenol wasn't working but by the time they called me back, about 4 hours, the pain was not as bad. I ended up taking 2 days of work even though my derm wouldn't write me a Doctor's note because she said it was "only minor surgery."
I am considering getting a second opinion on my pathology reports after I get the second procedure done. I am left wondering if it was truly necessary to remove a mole that "might" become cancerous.
I'm sorry you seemed to have had such a not pleasant experience! As far as atypical moles are concerned, different doctors have different opinions. Some doctors will simply remove the mole, and biopsy it, and be done with it. Other doctors will do a more intensive excision. There really isn't a "right" way or a "wrong" way, and it depends on how comfortable the patient feels with his/her doctor. My dermatologist has found a few atypical moles (this after my melanoma diagnosis), and she elected to simply do a punch biopsy. I was satisfied with that. I go in for regular skin checks, and also do regular skin checks at home.
I'm surprised your doctor did not write you a note to be off work for another day, if you felt you needed it. If you felt you were unable to complete your work duties adequately due to your health, I would think your doctor would want to stay cautious, and have you rest up an extra day. You might want to talk to him/her about the possibility of extending your time off from work on your next procedure.
It might not be a bad idea to have another set of eyes take a look at your biopsy report. Always nice to know what another doctor thinks! Good luck!
Hi there, you've probably gotten your answer, but I just saw this and wanted to let you know that I experienced the same thing. A few weeks ago, I had 5 shave biopsies done (under local anesthetic, with a scapel and cauterization) and even though they weren't stitched, I was convinced that all of them were infected because the amount of pain I was in after the fact. I also had one taken off my left breast (small world) and that was the spot where I had the sharp shooting pains. I think it has to do with the nerves trying to regrow, so my suggestion is that if it doesn't go away in a few days, call the doctor, but I am willing to bet, you're dealing with the same thing. Anytime skin gets cut, the process of it rehealing itself is always a weird process. It's itchy and tender and it hurts like no ones business. I myself am going in a couple of weeks for 2 excisional biopsies, so I'll get to go through the same thing. Good luck with everything.
On the day of my second excision biopsy, I told my doctor about the pain I experienced. She wrote me a prescription and looked at my first excision site. She said that I also seemed to be allergic to bandaids (even latex free), so I should discontinue using these and just be extra careful until my next visit, in which she will check/remove the stitches.
Looking back, I HOPE I did not scare anyone about getting an excision biopsy!! I would rather deal with being in some pain and discomfort for a few days than to neglect going to the doctor! I saw all the pain my father had to deal with and am glad I finally decided to go to the dermatologist.
Good luck to you, egrini! I hope all goes well for you! & Chele60, thank you for your reply, I wish you continued health!