Basal Cell Carcinoma

PLEASE BE WARNED – DON”T READ IF YOU GET QUEASY EASY.  I have provided all the gory details.

It’s been a while since I have posted, but really wanted to write all this down before I forgot.  The comment on the other post at least forced me to sit down and write it all down, so I figure I’ll make an official post also.

Here’s a rundown of the whole story.

I had a small scab that wouldn’t heal.  Got it sampled.  Came back negative.  Still wouldn’t heal.  Went back a month later and sampled again.  This time basal cell and possibly squamish cell carcinoma – the two most basic and treatable forms of skin cancer.  It was smaller than a dime, but it was on my cheek and needed to be removed.

Since it was less than an inch from my eye and nose, they decided the mohs surgery was best. (If it would have been any other area, they would have possibly treated it differently.) I’m glad it was this treatment, though.

The MOHs surgery was basically an outpatient surgery.  I was awake the whole time.  They started early in the morning since it can take anywhere from 3-5+hrs.  They had me in a chair that laid back flat.  They then (the only part I really hate) had to poke me with a needle full of numbing medicines.  They have to poke a lot, but after the first one or two sticks, the rest are mostly already numb – they are just enlarging the numbed area.

The rest is how it is described to me since I couldn’t see and really would have passed out if I had (low tolerance to people cutting and sticking me with needles and knives.)

They cut out the bad area with about a 1-2mm radius around it.  He then immediately cauterized the area (nothing like the smell of burning flesh early in the morning), put a bandage on it and sent me out to the waiting room while he took the sample and analyzed it.  It took about an hr(standard time for this) before he had the results and he hadn’t gotten it all.

So they went in a 2nd time and I guess cut a little deeper. (of course I also had to get a few more shots of the numbing medicine since it had partially worn off in that time – did I mention I hated needles?) He then cauterized the area, put a bandage on again and sent me to the waiting room.  Again another hour wait.  That time, he came back and had diagnosed it as all gone.

Since he wanted me to heal with very minimal scarring and no stretching of my eye, nose or puckering of the skin, he had to cut a much larger area so that when he stitched me back together everything went back just fine.  He had a few internal stitches and around 15 external stitches that I had to come back a week later to get removed.

He gave me some sample scar creams and told me his favorite was the one online kelo-cote I believe it’s called.  I assume it’s working as the scar is healing really fast.

Once I got home, I had some bruising on my face around the area that was worked on (to be expected.)  It also took most of the day for the rest of the numbing medicine to wear off.

It itched a little the next day and that drove me crazy since I couldn’t scratch it.  Otherwise, I was given some Darvocet, but only took it the first two nights to make sure I slept through the night.  I didn’t really need it for pain during  the day.  Acetaminaphine worked just fine.

Some pictures can be seen at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/silentmenace/sets/72157619273932029/
showing all the gory details for those that haven’t seen them yet.