View Full Version : Mohs tomorrow.. need advice

05-16-2005, 01:57 PM
Help! I am 29 and this is my first time with Mohs - I have BCC on side of nose that wasn't diagnosed for over a year and now I am going in for treatment .. what can I expect tomorrow and what about recovery? Stitches? Pain? Would just appreciate a heads up..I have 2 little kiddos and want to prepare! Thanks!

05-16-2005, 02:29 PM
Hi. I had Mohs on three places on my face on the same day. I was there for 12 hours. My doctor gave me a valium to calm me. I think that helped as my skin is rather tough so they had to give me over a dozen shots to numb my face. I did not have a place on the side of my nose, but you should expect them to sterile dress your face. Numb your area. Once numb, you should be good to go. They will cut what they think is the cancer and test it while you lay there and wait. I was allowed to have my husband in there with me so he kept me company while we waited. It takes about 20 minutes for them to see if they need to cut more. Most likely they will have to cut at least one more time. If it's a good doctor, the more stitches, the better. My doctor sent me to a plastic surgeon the next day because I had large holes and needed a z-plasty. I had 52 stitches and I think the scarring is very, very minimal. I don't know how it will go as far as noses. Hopefully, it won't be extensive as far as reconstruction. Have they said? Good luck to you and hope this helps.

05-16-2005, 03:37 PM
I had MOHS done on the side of my nose. They numb your nose real well and you won't feel a thing. My BCC was rather deep and my doctor had to cut me four times before reaching clear margins. After the first cut, they cauterized it and sent me back to the waiting room. There were at least 8 people there having MOHS done at the same time. When I was asked to come back into the room, they informed me they had to cut more and they gave me more shots. None of this was painful, only stressful because I worried about the outcome of my nose.

When you go home, you will be given a prescription for antibiotics and then you have to go back in a week.

I was very lucky. My MOHS doctor also did the reconstruction. After two months I had two different kinds of laser treatments. The first one was to smooth out the scar. The second was to reduce any redness from the scar tissue. I am very pleased with the outcome. I have no redness at all on the scar. I can use a little coverup and powder and you cannot tell that I have a scar unless you know exactly where to look and are standing very close.

When you first come home and you see your nose, you panic thinking that your nose will always look bad. I had a bandaid on my nose for months. (The initial surgery takes time to heal. No coverup would conceal the redness of my scar. Then with each laser treatment the scar would scab and take time to heal. I had a total of three laser treatments) But don't worry, once you have the reconstruction, your nose will look great again.

Since your BCC has not been growing long, your scar should be minimal.

Plan on having take out for dinner the night of the MOHS. You will be tired from the stress of the day, otherwise you will be fine. Follow the post op instructions so you will not have an infection and it will aid in healing properly.

I wish you the best tomorrow!

05-16-2005, 05:48 PM
You are the SWEETEST to take the time to reply! I really appreciate it. I was fine leading up to this whole thing, but last night it finally took it's toll. Helps to have info. I know they can do amazing things with reconstruction, I just feel blessed that this is something that is fixable. (still dosen't stop me from feeling anxious, though!) Thanks again -

05-19-2005, 11:31 AM
Did you have Mohs yet? How are you healing?

I have been through 3 mohs in the same general area, my brow. For some reason I keep growing basal cells (different types) up there!! Scaring is minimal and laser surgery does wonders!!! I used to get really freaked out after surgery but now I know the area will heal nicely. I just wear bandaids and look strange for a couple of weeks until I am comfortable to show the scar. They dont last long. Just take good care of yourself and follow the drs orders. I usually try to pamper myself during the healing time so that I dont end up with bad scars.

Keep us posted. Just remeber it looks a lot worse then it will in the long run right after sugery.


05-20-2005, 11:04 AM
Thank you so much for thinking of me. It was AWFUL. I am glad I didn't know much going into it. Like I said - I'm 29, never really been a "tanner" with the exception of some bad burns as a kid. No skin cancer in family. The dr. said i had the most invasive basal cell tumor he had seen in a face and this is at OHSU, which is one of the best hospitals... Anyways, I went back and forth 3 times and they ended up taking off the whole side of my nose and some cheek, and then did the skin graft right then from the other cheek in front of my ear... EIGHTY stitches later (and six hours)...not fun. Let me just say the Lord was my shelter that day, for sure! I think you have it right to pamper yourself.. he said it will be months before I am semi back to normal- I am the walking advertisment for sunscreen, though, so i guess there is a positive! :) Again, thanks for the thoughts...I needed a little pick me up!

05-20-2005, 04:05 PM
I am sorry to hear that your BCC was so extensive. I just want to warn you to be careful with the skin graft. I had a skin graft and followed the instructions given to me. I was told to keep the bandage on for a week, not to get it wet and not to lift anything heavy. During this time I would have occasional pangs of pain on my nose. I had no idea that the graft had become partially stuck to the gauze. These occasional pangs of pain were the graft being ripped off.

When I went back to have the bandage removed, the graft had gotten stuck over time to the gauge and was completely torn off upon the removal of the gauze. I was in shock. I had this raw hole on the side of my nose. The thought of having another skin graft done, when the one behind my ear was still healing was depressing. My doctor said that he thought the skin would grow up to the level of the rest on my nose. I could not see how with it being such a deep, jagged indentation. To make a long story short, he was right, my nose healed with the skin growing to the level of the rest.

I just want to make sure that this does not happen to anyone else. I believe it was the fault of the nurse who dressed the graft, because everyone at the doctor's office asked me who dressed it. Personally I thought the bandage should come off and have medication be put on every day, but my instructions were the opposite.

Keep us posted on your recovery and in about 4 to 6 months no one will be able to tell that you had anything removed on your nose.

05-30-2005, 04:34 PM
Hi, am sorry to hear you have BCC, Well you have to be strong as you are going through surgery all the best then. Anyways, here is some thing which I came across and guess you could like to know of as you could see that this lady has the same disease like you. The lady tells or how she had Basal Cell Carcinoma skin cancer on the tip of her nose and her doctor advised her that only treatment available for her is surgery & plastic surgery, but she felt like talking to friends about it as she does not want to take either treatments so she ended up talking to a lady who have used Curaderm SCC she have got and there was no recurrence even after 5 years.So this lady ended up using Curaderm for the BCC on her nose for and after 13 weeks of treatment the cancer disappeared and there was no recurrance after that. So if it sounds good to you then you can give this a try as well.