Mohs surgery on nose recovery

Once your skin cancer has been removed through Mohs surgery, there will be an open wound. Two options are available for healing:. Allow the wound to heal on its own. This is appropriate if the wound is extremely small or in a location where a scar is cosmetically acceptable. Daily care of the wound is required. Depending upon the size, may take up to 4 to 6 weeks for the wound to heal completely, but infection, bleeding and pain are uncommon.

Close the wound with sutures stitches. This option is appropriate when scarring must be kept to a minimum or when the natural healing process would be inadequate.

Most reconstructive surgery can be performed on the same day as your Mohs surgery. The wound may be closed by shifting nearby tissue, or by taking skin from another area of your body often in front of or behind the ear, or from the neck, collarbone region or thigh.

Skin grafts may require a "bolster" dressing — a special bandage sutured over the area. This dressing remains over the graft for a week or until sutures are removed.

In some cases, wounds from Mohs surgery can be extensive and may require the assistance of another surgeon. We will help you find a SLUCare physician or a physician close to your home who can perform these procedures.

There may also be times when your personal physician refers you to SLUCare for Mohs surgery with a plan to perform reconstructive surgery for you shortly afterwards. A delay between your Mohs surgery with us and reconstructive surgery with another doctor may not be convenient, but it will not cause ill effects.

It is often necessary as the Mohs surgery may require most of the day. Following reconstruction, we will provide you with further written instructions for the care of your wound, along with verbal explanations from the doctor or nurse and phone numbers both day and night in case of questions. You can expect minimal discomfort after Mohs surgery; pain can usually be managed well with acetaminophen Tylenol.

Significant discomfort should be reported to us. You may experience some localized swelling and bruisingwhich may not be at its worst until three to four days after surgery. Some swelling and bruising is normal and should improve within a week. If you have surgery on your forehead or nose, you may experience some swelling of your eyelidswhich, at times, may nearly close them due to swelling and bruising settling in that area.

Similarly, swelling and bruising may occur down the neck, and rarely the chest, when surgery is performed on the chin or jawline area.The nose is a common area to have skin cancer. There are many factors to consider when reconstructing the nose after Mohs procedures including:. There are two main schools of thought when reconstructing defects of the nose.

One option is to repair only the existing defect that was left by the Mohs surgery, referred to as the defect only approach. The second option is referred to as a subunit repair. In this approach, the nose is divided anatomically into nine subunits.

A defect in any of the nine subunits requires removal and repair of the entire subunit. The concept is that, aesthetically, it will look better if an entire subunit looks the same and the subunit will blend in better than having a patch of skin replaced wherever it is missing.

It is possible to obtain satisfactory results using either approach and certain approaches may be more appropriate in certain areas of the nose. For example, it may be more beneficial to use a subunit approach when reconstructing the lower third of the nose as opposed to the upper two thirds.

mohs surgery on nose recovery

In addition, the size of the defect and desires of the patient must all be taken into consideration. Each repair must be evaluated and planned on an individual basis. When determining what type of reconstruction is required, a surgeon must determine what elements need to be replaced.

Of course, the skin will always be missing, but what about the cartilage and skin on the inside of the nose nasal lining? However, in the hands of an experienced Mohs reconstruction surgeon, satisfactory results can still be achieved on a routine basis. It is important to understand the extent of the defect and the reconstructive options available when determining how a defect will be reconstructed. The techniques for cartilage and nasal lining repair are beyond the scope of this post.

Depending on the size, location, and cosmetic desires of the patient, there are three main categories of tissue repair: skin graft, adjacent tissue transfer, and regional tissue transfer.

Life After Mohs: Surgery Wound Care and Recovery Process

Skin Grafts used to reconstruct a properly sized and positioned defect may provide aesthetically pleasing results. Skin grafts are usually taken from the skin in front or behind the ear or from the forehead depending on where the graft will be placed. The upper portion of the nose is typically more amenable to skin grafting than the lower one third of the nose is.

Small less than 1 cm defects of the lower third of the nose may be candidates for skin grafting.

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Secondary procedures such as dermabrasion may be required in order to achieve the desired aesthetic result. Several examples of adjacent tissue transfer techniques can be found on our Mohs reconstruction page.Life will not be the same after the Moh surgery.

The surgery will leave you with a wound, and it will be your responsibility to take care of it. Wound care management will determine the recovery process of the wound. Therefore, you have to know how to take care of the wound for an easy and timely recovery. After surgery, your surgeon will give you some basic instructions to follow. Usually, the surgeon will cover the wound with pressurized clothing for 24 hours. The purpose of clothing is to allow blood clotting to prevent excess bleeding.

Sometimes, after the Moh surgery, it is normal for the wound to bleed, and that is why the clothing is essential. One of the key instructions from the surgeon will be the time you will start to bathe. Typically, you will be given a day to start bathing.

After the surgery, you are not allowed to lift heavy objects. Additionally, you should avoid physical activities. This will proceed for one to two days after the surgery.

The instructions will help minimize bleeding chances of the wound. It also helps prevent wound dehiscence, which is very dangerous. This will be the beginning of the wound healing process.

mohs surgery on nose recovery

In case you notice blood or even wound drainage, apply tight force to the pressurized clothing. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Immediate care after Mohs surgery is very vital.

Infection is a danger to the wound. It can prevent the wound from healing or make it take a long time to heal. It will be essential to know how to prevent the wound from any infection. Even your surgeon will mention to you the importance of infection prevention and dangers associated with wound infections. The wound will be exposed to bacteria and other contaminants.

These contaminants can enlarge your wound and worsen it.

Nasal Reconstruction After Mohs Surgery

For your Moh surgery wound to heal appropriately, make sure it is well maintained from infection. This will prevent further treatment procedures. Ask your surgeon about topical antiseptics that will destroy microorganisms. But, it will be advisable to conduct a doctor if you notice some infections in your wound.

mohs surgery on nose recovery

It is vital to keep your Moh wound heal. Keeping your wound will be another essential determinant of the wound healing process. Your surgeon will provide you with basic guidelines to clean your wound.

Cleaning the wound is one way of keeping your wound away from infections. Wound cleaning should be done as per a routine. The cleaning routine is one of the guidelines your surgeon will give you.Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer.

During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery is also known as Mohs micrographic surgery. The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Mohs surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic. Mohs surgery is an improvement to standard surgery local excisionwhich involves removing the visible cancer and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue all at once.

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Mohs surgery allows surgeons to verify that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery. This increases the chance of a cure and reduces the need for additional treatments or additional surgery. Mohs surgery is used to treat the most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as some kinds of melanoma and other more unusual skin cancers.

Mohs surgery can be technically challenging. Many skin doctors dermatologists can perform Mohs surgery, since dermatologists learn about Mohs surgery in their medical training.

Some Mohs surgeons have undergone specialized training — called a fellowship — to learn more about the procedure and become more proficient in Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is done on an outpatient basis in an operating room or procedure room that has a nearby laboratory that allows the surgeon to examine the tissue after it's removed. In most cases, the procedure lasts a few hours. But since it can be difficult to tell how extensive a skin tumor is just by looking at its surface, doctors often advise reserving the whole day for the procedure.

You likely won't have to change into a surgical gown unless the location of the tumor requires it. To prepare you for surgery, your surgeon or a nurse cleanses the area to be operated on, outlines it with a special pen and injects the area with a local anesthetic. The anesthetic numbs the skin, so you won't feel any discomfort during the procedure.

Once the anesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the visible portion of the cancer along with a thin, underlying layer of tissue that's slightly larger than the visible tumor.

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A temporary bandage is placed on your incision. This takes only a few minutes. The surgeon then takes this tissue to the laboratory for analysis. This portion of the procedure typically takes the longest amount of time. Expect to wait about an hour or so in a waiting room for the surgeon to return. It may help to bring a book or magazine to pass the time. You'll be able to use the restroom or have a snack, if you need to, but you won't be able to leave the surgeon's office until the procedure is complete.

While you're waiting, the surgeon or technician cuts the tissue sample into sections and examines them with a microscope. Your surgeon takes great care to keep track of the exact spot where each piece of tissue was removed by making a map. That way, if a small area of cancer is found in one piece of tissue, the surgeon knows precisely where to continue with the surgery.

If cancer remains, your Mohs surgery will continue. Your surgeon removes an additional layer of tissue from the affected area, taking care to remove tissue that contains cancer while leaving as much healthy tissue as possible intact. Again, you'll wait while the surgeon examines the tissue in the laboratory. The process is repeated until the last tissue sample removed is cancer-free. Local anesthetic can be re-administered as necessary.

After all of the cancer has been removed, you and your surgeon can decide on how to repair the wound.Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID vaccinations at this time.

When this changes, we will update this web site. Mohs surgery can effectively address skin cancer on the nose, but can leave a large wound defect behind. Since the nose is the most important structure on the body for facial identity and appearance, it is important to choose a facial reconstructive surgeon with extensive experience in nose reconstruction following skin cancer surgery. Contact Us.

The facial plastic surgeon will discuss surgical options with you to reconstruct your nose, including a local flap, a skin graft or a staged procedure such as a forehead flap. Local flap : This reconstructive procedure uses the available skin on the nose to close the incision.

You may be a candidate for a local flap if the wound on your nose is small and can be covered by stretching the skin. Our surgeons recommend this procedure a few days after Mohs surgery to allow the skin to begin healing and improve the outcome of the procedure. Skin graft : If the area of missing tissue is too large to be covered with a local flap, the surgeon may relocate skin from elsewhere on the body.

During your consultation, the surgeon will identify the best source for a skin graft. As with a local flap, reconstructive surgery takes place a few days after Mohs surgery. A skin graft is performed in one stage as an outpatient procedure. Staged procedure : A staged procedure such as a forehead flap is a multi-stage process that can begin the day of the Mohs procedure.

The surgeon places an expander under the forehead to stretch the skin and create more healthy skin to be used for the nose. When enough new skin has grown, the surgeon will use it to cover the nose and create as natural a result as possible. During your appointment, your surgeon will also discuss what to expect on the day of surgery and provide care instructions after surgery.

mohs surgery on nose recovery

Our doctors are board certified in both otolaryngology—head and neck surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, which gives our team a unique and comprehensive level of expertise. A large and complex cancer involved half of Jen's nose, calling for expert treatment to restore her health and appearance.

Read Jen's story. Skip Navigation.

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Recovering from Mohs Surgery

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