Patient Comments: Mohs Surgery - Experience

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Did you undergo Mohs surgery? Please share your experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Kitty, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I had Mohs surgery on a basal cell carcinoma on my nose 1 week ago. The surgeon took all the cancer away but left a deep hole on the dorsum of my nose. I was given absorbent plasters to cover and replace every other day. However they fill up with what looks like thick pus but it is not infected. I am having skin graft this week. Hopefully it will heal soon. I would not like to repeat the experience.

Comment from: Terri , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I have just had my third Mohs surgery on my nose in 7 years. The first one was on the side of my nose bordering my cheek and good scar closure. The second was next to my left eyebrow with a 1.5 inch scar. The third was on the right hand side crease of my nose 1 cm hole; the other 2 are good cosmetic scars this one certainly is not. I was told to try secondary intention healing but at 4 weeks I have a sizeable dent which I am hoping will reduce with massage and silicone scar sheets. I might be deluding myself, we shall see.

Comment from: unhappy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I asked my doctor to do biopsy on a small pimple about the size of a grain of sand on the top of my scalp. It turned out to be squamous cancer. Surgeon said that the Mohs surgery shouldn't affect my hair growth and wouldn't damage the follicles. Two months later I am left with a 2 by 4 inch bald spot on the top of my scalp. At 8 weeks he said he didn't think it will grow back! You can try changing your parting to the other side. I recently felt another one. I think I will take my chances.

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

I had Mohs Surgery 11 days ago for basal cell carcinoma. Thirteen years ago I was misdiagnosed as having psoriasis so the area was quite large, on the side of my face and scalp. I don't remember the exact size but something like 4 1/2 by 3 1/2 cm. I had to have plastic surgery for repair which included a skin graft on about half of it. Physical healing is going great, emotional healing is a work in progress! It helps to have a great support system, organic juicing and smoothies, and positive reflection!

Comment from: jackie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 21

Yes, I had Mohs surgery on December 19 for a basal cell carcinoma by my nose where my eye glass rested. It was about the size of a dime. I had two layers removed and a flap from the corner of my eye to almost down to my eye. I had 28 outside sutures and more inside. It really was a mini face lift. I had no pain or bleeding, and the area on my nose skin fold is just now healing. On March 21 I am having the skin fold removed that was caused by the pulling of my skin. Make up covers it well, but it will take 18 months.

Comment from: Frank, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

I am a 72 year old fair skinned male. I just (6 days ago) had Mohs surgery performed on the right ala (wing) section of my nose. I had outpatient surgery using a local anesthetic. I elected to allow the wound to heal without a skin graft. Margins were clear. Absolutely zero pain. I had very light pulling sensation as it is healing. I strongly recommend getting this done if you need it. It will take several weeks to completely heal over and I am confident this is the way to go. Best wishes.

Comment from: Tb12, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 24

I highly recommend Mohs surgery. Extremely precise and extremely high success rates. Do plan on a half day at the treatment center. They perform multiple procedures to several patients per day. While my lab work was being done, the next patient gets operated on, and so on. Some patients require multiple passes. The surgeon does not begin sewing everyone back up until all lab work is clear for everyone.

Comment from: Patti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I just had my Mohs surgery today. It was BCC (basal cell carcinoma) on the side of my nose, about 3 cm. The worst part was the needle they shoot in to numb it. Hurts a lot! I waited for 1 1/2 hours to hear the good news that I was cleared after the first round! I was given two options... let the wound heal on its own and do nothing or get stitched. Getting stitched would heal faster (in 5 to 7 days) and stitches would dissolve. I chose the stitches. It is throbbing now and time for extra strength Tylenol. Hoping all goes well.

Comment from: BCC free, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I had Mohs on Halloween and closure the next day by a plastic surgeon. All went well and was pain free. The incision is smooth and looks great one month after surgery, however after starting massage my face in the area of the scar became bruised and fluid accumulated. I went to the plastic surgeon who aspirated the fluid and it looked and felt much better. Two weeks later and the bruising is better however I still have swelling below the incision line.

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Comment from: stace, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I had Mohs surgery on my nose on 11/1/18. It's a bad area in general because you don't realize how many times your facial movement effects your nose. After going down 2 layers I was done and stitched up. The night of the procedure was throbbing but extra strength Tylenol helped that. I would say the worst part is the tightness and pressure because of the area it is in. Six days later, stitches are out but the recovery is not over. I still have tightness and pressure.

Comment from: Tippie , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I just had Mohs surgery on 10/15/18. It was on the tip of my nose and it took 2 swipes to remove the basal cell carcinoma. The hole that I was left with, was the size of a dime. Skip ahead one week later and I just got home from the plastic surgeons, where I was hoping to get my stitches out, no such luck! I'm healing super slow because I'm a smoker! So my advice is to stop smoking because it hinders your healing and also causes cancer in the first place.

Comment from: g, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I had Mohs surgery last week. I had a small pimple that would not go away and was told basal cell was infiltrated with roots. Surgery went okay, only one pass. I went to the plastic surgeon to stitch because of size. A little bleeding through stitches was my only concern because of scarring. Stitches come out on Friday, I am a little nervous because nose is tender. My advice to those young teenagers is to wear sunblock and stay out of the sun when possible. Not fun at all.

Comment from: Browneyedgirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

Currently I had Mohs surgery on the side of my nose. The surgery itself was ok. Shots were the most painful. It took only one time to get it all. Four days later I am concerned with my healing. I have some drainage. I am going Wednesday to have stitches removed. Hopefully minimal scarring!

Comment from: Paul C, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 11

I had Mohs surgery to remove a spot on my nose the size of the tip of a toothpick they said was basal cell carcinoma. Now I have a huge scar that really bothers me. One of the worst procedures I've had the misfortune of experiencing. Not happy at all with the procedure or the outcome.

Comment from: Kathi, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I had Mohs surgery for basal cell on 8/22/18 on the center of right eyebrow. The numbing shots were almost pain free, it took 3 slices to get clean margins. They closed me up with dissolvable stitches and one Steri-Strip. The day I came home was the most painful as the numbing was wearing off. I took Advil. Day 3 I am feeling pretty good, I still have some swelling and a little bruising but nothing more. I took arnica pellets 2 days prior to surgery and will continue for 5 more days. I really believe this has helped.

Comment from: Nimbus Pixie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I underwent Mohs surgery on August 14, 2018. After two excisions I had to have a skin graft which was cut from my neck. The pressure bandage on the graft which partially obscures my vision has been extremely irritating, but the neck wound has been the most painful. This was my second Mohs surgery. I don't think I could bear another one. It was not a good experience.

Comment from: AuntBarbara, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I had Mohs surgery on my nose in July 2018. Ended up with 20 to 30 stitches down my nose. The doctor gave me antibiotics and sent me home after 4 hours. I had a lot of swelling for 3 days afterward, but was able to return to work after that. I looked little like a boxer for a week, but once the stitches came out, it was healing ok. Not perfect, but honestly it is better than a cancer growth on your nose. Surgery does not hurt, but it is not cheap. I needed 3 passes and the bill will be about USD 3.5K. It is still worth it.

Comment from: medico19, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had Mohs surgery a week ago on 4/19/2018. I was diagnosed with a very rare skin cancer called dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans on my lower abdomen. I searched for a doctor that had the extra schooling for Mohs, and one was recommended to me by my original dermatologist. After checking out this specialist, I was convinced he was the one to do it. I have to say that I did not have any pain at all. I was given 35 injections of lidocaine because my cancer was in a circular area on my lower abdomen. I did not even feel those injections. I had two sessions of treatment totaling 7 hrs. The team had at least 7 members including the Mohs surgeon, plastic surgeon, nurses, and medical assistants. They were very knowledgeable, and very kind to me. It was a teaching hospital. I have a pretty large incision, but I have not had one bit of pain. I have sutures that will disintegrate over the next couple weeks. My experience was easy, and now I am cancer free.

QUESTION

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Comment from: patricia, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had 2 Mohs surgeries and they were horrible. The 2nd one took 3 cuts to come back negative. It was on my nose. It was so deep that I had 2 skin grafts, one artificial skin and for the 2nd, they took skin from behind my ear. It has been a year and it is still red and very noticeable. Plastic surgeon did 5 laser treatments. Did not work. I wish I never had the surgery and found another less invasive way for treatment for basal cell cancer.

Comment from: nisi, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

The whole procedure of Mohs surgery was no more traumatizing than a trip to the dentist office. I had no stitches, and I have had the wound under a Band-Aid (side of my nose) for two weeks now. It lightens up every day, and though I have very pale skin, I am not at all concerned that the scarring will be noticeable. I don't doubt that as a red-head I will be back for this procedure sometime again in the future, I will be as calm as the others I met in the waiting room. I will also pay close attention to any dots on my skin that seem not quite right, and get them looked at before they can develop any more than this one did. Best thing of all, I am overjoyed that my basal cell cancer is gone!

Comment from: Kagy, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 30

I had basal cell on left cheek midline between lower eye and upper lip. The doctor initially carved out a piece, about 1/4 inch long and circular for biopsy. After basal cell diagnosis, I went in for Mohs surgery. Shots to numb the area are always a pain and there were at least three, maybe a couple more. The doctor did his excision and sent to the lab. About 50 minutes later he returned and said he got it all. I assume he meant margins were clear. He closed with 6 to 8 stiches that run diagonal from under eye to lower cheek, probably 1 to 1/2 inches long. Pressure bandage was applied and I was sent on my way. Whole time in doctor's office was about 2 hours. I am scheduled for stich removal 7 days later. He will put Steri-Strips on at that time that I think will just fall off at some point. He gave me antibiotic to take for 5 days and Tylenol with codeine for pain. I have avoided the pain medicines so far (day 2 now). I removed the pressure bandage on day two and jury rigged Band-Aid to cover. I clean with hydrogen peroxide and put on Polysporin. I will need to get new Band-Aids that I can trim to fit the wound area since it is in an odd space in an odd direction. No smoking or drinking beer (boo) for 7 days post-surgery. Keep site dry for first 48 hours. Follow-up with the doctor for regular check in 6 months. My wife had one on her nose earlier this year and it was squamous and Mohs took four hours so I am happy about my process so far. Will see how next two weeks roll out.

Comment from: Red, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I had Mohs surgery to remove a small basal cell carcinoma that was between my nose and upper lip. It took 3 1/2 hours and three passes to remove the cancer. At that point, I was ready to leave and did not stay for the repair that is normally done to 'put your face back together,' as the physician's assistant said to me. The numbing shots were extremely painful and I could smell them cauterizing my skin, and could hear them snipping bits of my face away with what sounded like nail clippers. (I was waiting for the water boarding to start.) So, while I do not have cancer, I have a huge, painful hypertrophic scar in the middle of my face. Without the repair, my procedure still cost almost USD 10,000. I wish I had done my homework and not settled for Mohs surgery. I wish I would have found someone to remove it with a simple excision and use sutures to close the wound. I know other people have good results, but my Mohs surgery experience was a disaster.

Comment from: Wade, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 05

Unfortunately the doctor did not tell me to stay calm and keep my head up with little strain. I did the exact opposite and strained at a project on my knees with head down the day after my Mohs surgery. Don't do that. One side of the cut puffed up significantly and the following day it was very bruised looking all around the cut. I saw what looked like some dried blood in my mustache which was two inches from the cut. Two days later that turned into a mark about an inch wide that went halfway down my throat. So far (fifth day) I feel ok but am not inclined to much activity. This showed up bad on New Year's Day and now it is the weekend so the doctor is problematic.

Comment from: Chris, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 17

I had Mohs surgery for a basal cell cancer on my lower left eyelid and had a plastic surgeon do the closure the day after Mohs. It has been three weeks and I'm very happy with the results. I was nervous before the surgery because it was so close to my eye but it actually was not that bad.

Comment from: sunny San Diego, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I have recently had 2 Mohs surgeries. One was 3 months ago for a basal cell cancer on the bridge of my nose and the second surgery was 4 days ago on my forehead. Both times I had significant swelling and bruising around my eyes. I have a high tolerance for pain and was not given any pain medications either time. The surgery on my nose was extremely painful and I really could have used at least 2 pain pills. I wear glasses and the swelling was so bad that I couldn't wear my glasses, thus wasn't able to work for 3 days after each surgery. Despite my application of ice packs for 15 minutes every hour the swelling was totally out of control. I have had several basal cell and squamous cell cancers removed without Mohs surgery and never had this much pain and swelling. I am hoping that I don't need to have Mohs again.

Comment from: sharpmama, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had a small sore/lesion on the tip of my nose. I noticed it about 1 1/2 years ago, thinking I must have scratched myself or something. It then would bleed and take forever to form a scab. It would eventually fall off but then it would start all over again. I had another lesion on my upper lip that my regular doctor tried to freeze off numerous times, but it came back over and over. About 3 months ago I saw a dermatologist, and they biopsied four areas, 3 of which were diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma. They scheduled two MOHS for the facial ones. The nose MOHS required four levels, the lip just one. The 3rd was on my arm and was excised normally. I found that the procedure was not painful at all (other than the initial numbing shots). Perhaps I am lucky to have seen a really good dermatologist, but my nose procedure was done just over a month ago and has been healing very quickly (despite my 65 years and other medical problems). The doctor was initially going to use a skin graft, but because it was healing so well on its own, we discussed and decided not to do the graft. With how well it was doing he thought it will look better healing on its own. And I agreed. I am now leaving it uncovered for part of the day, though I keep a film of an ointment /healing agent (Sonafine) on it, and expect it to be totally healed in a month or two. I do bandage it when I go out for now. As for nerves, I can tell there was probably a nerve or two cut on the top part of the nose as it feels totally numb, but it doesn't really bother me at all. I am very glad I took care of these. Basal cell carcinoma may not metastasize, but they can be invasive, and when you have them on your face, head, and neck areas, it's possible they could cause serious problems. You just don't know. I plan to have regular checks.

Comment from: Susiegale, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I had Mohs surgery on the side of my nose on June 24, 2015. It is still healing. The worst part of the whole experience was the shots to deaden the area. They are extremely painful. The doctor said the second round of shots wouldn't hurt as much because the area was already deadened. It would have been had they not made me wait two hours between the procedures. The area was not deadened and the second shots hurt just as much as the first. Right now the wound area looks as if it going to heal properly. I don't know about a scar at this time but it will be small if there is one.

Comment from: Mila, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I had Mohs surgery done last week on my left temple. It was really painless and my doctor was great and really straight with me so I knew where I was standing as he explained what could happen. I had to wear the bandage for 48 hours and then after that dress it every day. I was in a lot of pain once anesthetic worn off. I'm getting my stitches out tomorrow so look forward to have no bandage change routine every day. I am really happy the way doctor and two lovely nurses handled everything.

Comment from: Elvis S., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 12

I had Mohs, on the right side of my face about one inch below my eye to remove a squamous cell carcinoma, in 2011. I was called back in for a second cut to clear it. It left a hole about fingertip wide. I went to a plastic surgeon a few days later, for closure. They made a triangle cut to my temple to create a flap, and then stitched all up. This was the most painful procedure. It took about one year to heal fairly well. I must go again for my temple now; when does it end!

Comment from: Lorrie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I had Mohs surgery yesterday on my scalp near my temple. I have been in extreme pain since. I'm just taking Tylenol but it seems to do nothing. I just removed the dressing and it feels a little better. I began icing as soon as I returned home, but the coldness of the ice could not get through the layers of bandages. I have a mini facelift on the left side of my face which makes the right side look weird.

Comment from: LadypilotH, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 03

I have had Mohs surgery last month and I have to say that I am very pleased that the 2 basal cell cancers have gone. One was on my left forehead and the second just under my right nostril. I was included as the doctor explained everything to me and I also was shown the mapping of the sites after each lab result. I was very apprehensive about having this done as I had a malignant melanoma it situ removed from my lower leg 2 months ago and that had to close by 2nd incision. I had conscious sedation for that but for the MOHs I was having local anesthesia. I worried for nothing, it was great. It felt the same as dental freezing but they topped up each time I had to have more tissue removed, and no pain was felt. I was instructed and given a booklet on how to care for my incisions. One part was to use Vaseline 3 times a day on them which felt good. I was instructed to use antibacterial soap daily on my face but I used normal saline as I don't use soap on my face at all ever. These are progressing nicely. When my sutures were removed several skin colored Steri-Strips were applied to my forehead and a sealing bond (not Dermabond) was used under my nose prior to having Steri-Strips applied. I would have this doctor do MOHs again if necessary. This has been a very positive procedure for me.

Comment from: Sad Patient, 55-64 (Patient) Published: July 21

I went for Mohs surgery because I had very small superficial skin cancers on my arms. I am squeamish to watch such things, especially on myself, so I did not realize the Mohs surgeon was doing a regular excisional surgery! After he finished chopping, he said he was sending in the physician's assistant (PA) to stitch me up. I said, 'Why? You haven't checked it yet?' He replied, 'Oh it will be easier on you.' I thought it odd until I looked at what the PA was doing and saw huge cuts all the way through all layers of my skin! For two tiny spots I now have two huge scars! I am so angry at the mess I now have to live with! He simply did not want to take the time to do what I was there for! If you expect to get Mohs, be very sure the doctor is doing what you came for instead of rushing you through to get to the next paycheck!

Comment from: Dee, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

It is eight months since Mohs surgery on top of my head. The skin cancer was very tiny and superficial but what a mess Mohs has caused to my head! I still have to wear hats to cover up the mess to my head. The surgeon has cut on my head numerous times since Mohs, I had to get staples a few times and sutures a few times. When the hole on top of my head finally grows back together, they will have a hard time talking me into Mohs surgery ever again!

Comment from: Mrs. Minneapolis, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I have had Mohs surgery at least once a year for years. The first one was just after my 30 year old daughter was born. I thought it was a 'nothing' however, I had several doctors say I need to have that looked at. I am so grateful for the surgical team, a Mohs surgeon/dermatologist/pathologist, who can spot a problem with his special l magnification glasses (for the excision) and one of the most highly regarded facial plastic surgeons. I had many dime to quarter size holes on my face done with little techniques so they are not visible after healing. I don't even get nervous anymore. I just pack a good book, my laptop, a snack because this technique specifically is done to remove the tumor only, leaving the smallest excision possible and sparing the surrounding skin. Finding this team was not easy, but it's my face! I researched Dr. Mohs a dermatologist that this technique is named after. I asked other patients, other doctors and nurses. Do your homework and don't wait, earlier identification means smaller holes.

Comment from: Sharon, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I don't think much of Mohs surgery. In theory, it looks good, but in reality, I believe it helps to spread cancer unless a surgeon can be absolutely certain he/she knows for a fact exactly how extensively they have to start cutting (find a crystal ball for this). Each time you cut into a cancer, the scalpel blade will have cancer cells on it, as may the gloves of the surgeon. It is impractical to have a new scalpel blade used each time or to have the surgeon change gloves before each cut. For basal skin cancer, a researcher found that alpha lipoid acid, n-acetyl-l-carnitine and CoQ10 prevented this type of cancer in mice bred to be prone to basal cell carcinoma (BCC). After 25 years of fighting BCC by nitrogen, excision, and Mohs surgery, I started taking the above supplements (500 to 600 mg each for 1st two and 200 mg of CoQ10 in 2008). It is now 2016 and without any sunscreen (just a wide-brim hat), I have been totally free of chronic BCC. I take this at bedtime. Stay away from Aldara cream as it can make you feel very sick. Whether coincidence or not, I had larger clusters of BCC after using it. The researcher gave no quantities, so I can't know if what I take works for others in the same way. Normal cells need these nutrients and take only what they need; BCC cancer cells gobble it up until they kill themselves. This is much more effective than Mohs surgery and leaves no scars.

Comment from: Marla, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I would suggest taking Tylenol on a regular basis right after Mohs surgery. I didn't and have a splitting headache. Also, numbing injections (4 each time) were extremely painful and I had to have them twice.

Comment from: notasunlover, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I had Mohs surgery 8 years ago for a basal cell on my nose. It took 5 cuts to remove it. Two weeks later I had a skin graft from behind my ear. The plastic surgeon did a wonderful job. I just learned today I have a squamous cell carcinoma above my eyebrow. Back to the same Mohs surgeon. Hopefully, no skin graft this time.

Comment from: think-twice, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

It has been several years since Mohs surgery on my ear and it is still oozing and bleeding (I think I am sleeping on it); hardest thing to heal I have ever had. I am totally dissatisfied.

Comment from: hasbrough, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I am going to have Mohs surgery for a basal cell carcinoma on my lower left eyelid, in April. I also will be having reconstructive the surgery later the same day. I am very apprehensive about this, and it is reassuring to read a post from someone who has had the same procedures.

Comment from: gma millie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

My background with a Mohs clinic started in 2012. Then last year 2015 I had a visit in April and May for basal cell on face, now I am scheduled for 1-25-2016 for another four spots, but I really have confidence with this clinic.

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