Patient Comments: Mohs Surgery - Scars

Question:

Did your surgery result in a scar? Please describe your experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Red, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

I went in for Mohs surgery but the tumor had fallen off. I had squamous skin cancer. The doctor said cancer was still there, so they cut my leg about 4 inches wide and 3 layers deep and did not go layer for layer, which resulted in a large scar! The tumor was only the size of a quarter, and no, I do not recommend this surgery.

Comment from: Leslie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I had the procedure for a basal cell that formed in a chicken pox scar under my left eye. It took only 2 passes to get it all. I got two black eyes and a two inch incision that was pulled so tight my skin popped out between the stitches. It scared me to death, but 6 to 8 months later it was perfect. No scar, but sometimes I can see a faint line when I'm tired. Overall great experience. Going in for one on my nose in a couple weeks.

Comment from: Erin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

I had Mohs in February. The dermatologist removed skin cancer at hairline 8 months before that. It came back and it took three passes of Mohs to get it. It hurt terribly after the numbness wore off. It looked awful for several months because he did a skin flap. I was freaking out. He told me the final results would be months down the road. He was right. It covered a big area but the scar is barely noticeable. At least it doesn't bother me. However, because he had to do some weird stuff to close the hole, I have hair growth too far down on that side of my hairline. I hope it doesn't come back although he told me it was an aggressive basal cell.

Comment from: Girlduck, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I had a bad curling iron burn turn into basal cell carcinoma (BCC) after many years. It did change in appearance, but I delayed getting help because I thought it was just my skin reacting to my hair color or something. My defect was in the corner of my forehead. It only required two samples, and I was told it was not too deep. I would say the nickel sized spot became a half-dollar sized area without skin. Still, this was in the corner of my forehead. I had no idea I would end up with a vertical cut from my eyebrow up to the defect area, and then down the side of my face to my ear in the edge of my hairline. I left with a very bright purple black eye that was half swollen shut, and by the time I went to the drug store and got my antibiotic, it had completely shut and stayed that way for a day and a half. I looked like a monster for several days, and went to work with huge sunglasses on. When I asked how long I should take off, I was told a day; never told I might need several days because work on my face could be drastic. I didn't take the pain pills that were prescribed but I did take ibuprofen a couple times and Aleve mostly. No real pain. But I have a huge scar I have to hide with bangs all the time. And my eye is messed up looking. It looks squinty and 2/3 the size of what it used to be, and the corner of my upper eyelid is very puffy, I guess because that is the point at which the doctor rotated my skin and pulled it upward to cover the corner of my forehead! If I had known my eye would be messed with, I never would have gotten this operation! The doctor said things might straighten out over time or I might need some other thing done to correct how bad my eye looks now. This is traumatic even if the doctor and the staff seem very nice. I feel I was not given real information before this whole surgery. I am angry at myself for even getting it. I am depressed and stressed. I am trying to be positive and just wait. But I feel like this is the biggest mistake of my life.

Comment from: missm, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

Yes, I definitely have a scar from my surgery. I had Mohs surgery on the right side of my face. It was a brown spot the size of a quarter. I had had it for years. I went to my dermatologist and asked him to check it, he took 3 biopsies, and asked me for another one 2 weeks later because it looked suspicious. Well, it was squamous cell melanoma, and my doctor sent me to a specialist for Mohs. I ended up having the flap along with more than 75 stitches; the nurse lost count. On top of that my hairline has changed. What used to be my sideburns are now beside my eye; I have to keep it shaved. The scar is in the shape of a V about 8 inches overall. I had 2 laser treatments that couldn't possibly take care of a scar this big and insurance didn't pay anymore. So it's been 2 years and it stings, itches and yet it feels numb too.

Comment from: Lakota, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

My Mohs surgery on my chest left no visible scar or line. It took a few months though for it to totally look normal again.

Comment from: Red, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

I had Mohs surgery about three months ago to remove a small basal cell carcinoma from my face. I had to go through three stages and it took 3 1/2 hours. I could hear every snip of my skin and smell my flesh burning between every stage as they cauterized my skin. I wasn't able to stay for the repair, so I have a hypertrophic scar between my nose and upper lip that will be a constant reminder of my Mohs surgery experience. Since the wound has healed, my insurance now considers it cosmetic and won't pay for plastic surgery to correct it. Without the repair, my total bill was still over USD 10,000. After the surgery, I was told that there is such a high chance that the cancer will return that I have to go in to have the wound checked every six months for the rest of my life. Personally, I would never go through Mohs surgery again; I think it is barbaric and a huge rip-off. I wish I had found a plastic surgeon that would have removed my cancer with a simple excision and then sewn up the wound. I could get rid of my ex-husband, but I will never get rid of this ugly, painful scar.

SLIDESHOW

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Comment from: Sharon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I recently had Mohs surgery for a very tiny basal cell carcinoma. Even during the procedure, which only needed two passes, the physician's assistant told me the cancer wasn't at all wide. However, they sent me home for two hours after the second pass because the office was closing for lunch and the surgeon didn't have time to close the wound until afterwards. When I came back, he barely re-numbed the skin, hastily cut away to make an oval, and stitched a huge 1 1/2 inch line down the side of my face. The upper corner is all lumpy and twisted. This is for a barely 1/8 inch non-life threatening superficial spot on my face. I don't go out unless I have huge sunglasses or a ton of makeup. My husband is grossed out by the hideous scar. I wish I were dead.

Comment from: Jackie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

This is week 10 after having Mohs procedure done. The doctor left me with an open wound on my back, about a half inch deep and about a 3 inch diameter. I was told leaving the wound open was better than having it sutured. Wrong! Sutures would have been removed in 10 days or so. I still have about a one inch open wound and the pain and drainage continue. All of this for a small basal cell carcinoma. Before anyone even thinks of letting a doctor do this to them, look for an alternative procedure.

Comment from: nanindc, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

I had Mohs surgery almost a month ago on the tip of my nose. The surgeon got all the basal cell carcinoma in one cut. I went to a plastic surgeon the next day and since it was fairly small he just stitched it up. After the stitches were taken out, the wound opened up a little bit so the surgeon put in a couple of stitches to close it. It has now been two weeks since then and those two stitches are out. The scar looks pretty good straight on but my profile needs to improve. Right above the stitches is a bump. I will start massaging it with coconut oil next week. I am hoping that time, massaging and silicone sheeting will improve the bump. Most people don't even notice it, but of course, I do.

Comment from: suesudeo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I had Mohs surgery above my lip about one week ago. I had the stitches removed today and they asked me to look at the scar before the Steri-Strip was placed. I was surprised how big the scar was when the mole was small. I hope it shrinks and is less noticeable. I have to keep the Steri-Strip on for 3 weeks and see the doctor again in 2 weeks. The price really shocked me too! I'm kind of disappointed; I should've left it the way it was.

Comment from: Happy With Mohs!, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

I had Mohs surgery to remove a cancer on the right side of my nose, in the crease above my nostril. I had a great surgeon, who was very meticulous, leaving me with no scar! Mine must have been caught early, because I had no huge hole, just a small incision to remove the tissue and it healed perfectly! I'm scheduled to have more surgery on my shoulder and back next week and anticipate the same results! Getting checked often can ultimately result in minor surgery, before the cancers get too large, therefore causing a larger incision and scar.

Comment from: Finn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I had Mohs surgery about a year and a half ago on the left side of my nose. The surgery took close to three hours. I wish I had done my homework before the surgery, but I just went with what the doctor said I needed. Surgeon was very good, I healed well, but would never opt for this procedure again; my cancer was a basal cell, slow growing. What was not told to me was the post operation recovery, and the fact that the skin removed from behind my ear and used for a skin graft had hair. Now I have hair growing on the side of my nose. My brother who had the same surgery on his nose has the same problem. Patients should be advised that this is a side effect!

Comment from: Mary, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I had Mohs surgery on my forehead close to my eyebrow 3.5 weeks ago. I have 2 deep, vertical, red scars that run parallel to one another and are about 2 inches long. All this for a superficial basal cell carcinoma. And just above my eyebrow a round raised bump. Granted it is only one month and of course healing takes time, but this is so unsightly. I knew I would have one scar but 2! I will never go through this again for a superficial basal cell, never.

Comment from: Jet, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

It's an absolute nightmare. I have a quarter size hole in my forehead. Had I known after 8 cuttings and 6 hours of surgery that this scar would happen, I never would have gone through with this surgery. Mohs is the newest thing going. Before, it was a simple biopsy and cut. Don't put yourself through this. The pain is excruciating and I don't know if I'll ever be the same again. Find a doctor who has an alternative method. Anything but Mohs.

QUESTION

Cancer is the result of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. See Answer
Comment from: Diana Texas, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I had Mohs surgery 5 weeks ago on my chin and leg. It was a little more traumatic than I expected at the time. I had a small basal cell on my face which healed quickly, the one on my leg although only looked like an insect bite, the roots had spread, and after four attempts my surgeon got it all. The area was large so she did a skin flap. It is incredible now just a long scar. I am using Bio Oil, a South African brand used in England for many years for scars, available in Walgreens. The oil keeps the scar supple.

Comment from: kimsteen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 18

Almost 2 years ago I had Mohs surgery on my forehead right at the hairline, also on my arm. The scars are practically invisible. The big problem is that nerves were cut under my scalp, and every day I get strange sensations like hundreds of bugs running beneath my scalp. I also get sudden pain which makes me stop and grab my head. The pain goes from the forehead to the crown of my head. Shampooing my hair is difficult. I had only 5 minutes to read the authorization letter prior to surgery, enough time to read the 1st paragraph. If I had known about nerve damage I would not have had the surgery. I was scheduled for 2 more forehead surgeries but I refused them.

Comment from: Angie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I had basal skin cancer in the very corner of my right eye. I had 2nd level and the freezing throughout the day was painful. I also did not like the soldering. It took 15 stitches to close, I was given Tylenol 3 for pain but did not need them. It was very swollen for a few days but the scar looks really good one week post-surgery.

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