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Skin cancer on nose

Posted by

Hello -  I had MOHs surgery for BCC on my left nostril approx 2 weeks ago. It followed unsuccessful surgery by a local hospital last September. I found the surgery challenging under local anaesthetic but was philosophical that it had to be done after deciding against radiotherapy.

At the moment I have scar running from near the top of my nose down to corner of my mouth, with skin graft on nostril area. I am hopeful scar will fade with time as it did with first operation but I am concerned that I may have lost some of the structure of my nostril this time. I baulked a bit when the surgeon mentioned the possible need for a prosthetic but now realise I may need to think about this in the longer term. Where can I learn more about this option?

In addition I would be grateful if somebody can advise on how long I can expect to have swollen and tingling face, and droopy lip? I am finding this is making conversation a bit difficult and tiring, and cannot imagine returning to work like this.

Added to this situation I have prospect of starting new role with the need to meet new people. I am wondering what I can ask for in terms of reasonable adjustment by my employer? It will be a major psychological challenge to take on new role with scars and disfigured nose in a new community.

Thank you.

Posted by

Hi CforClare,

Thanks for your post and welcome to the online community. I can see that you have already joined our supportive skin cancer group. There truly is nothing like the advice and support from others in a similar situation to yourself.

I can appreciate your concerns following your previous unsuccessful surgery last year and the challenge you faced during the MOHS procedure.

Your scar should fade as before with about 12 months being an approximate timescale for skin to heal and settle. During this timescale your scar should gradually change and fade.

We would expect any swelling to be starting to reduce daily. Unfortunately, the tingling face and droopy lid may take longer to settle. This may be weeks or even months to fully settle down. If any of these symptoms are worsening, then you need to get straight back in touch with your clinical team or GP, so post-operative complications can be ruled out. You should have the opportunity to discuss any ongoing symptoms at your surgical follow up appointment.

Hopefully you will recover well from this surgery and not require any further procedures in the future. If at any point your plastic surgeon felt that you needed any reconstruction surgery or a facial protheses you would be referred to a maxillofacial prosthetist for a consultation. This is a very specialised area and you would receive lots of information, support and counselling before you consented to this procedure.

We would recommend having a look at our work and cancer information and also Changing Faces information for people with visual differences. Hopefully this will help when you are ready to approach your employer.

Often it can be helpful to call our Support Line on 0808-808-0000 and talk to one of our nurses about this and how concerned you are. If you think that would help we are open every day 8am till 8pm.

Best wishes and take care.

Fiona Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist