WLE for melanoma

I am going in for a wle in 3 areas on Tuesday and feeling anxious. 

I had 3 moles removed in March  1 of which was stage 1A melanoma and the other 2 are melanoma in situ. 

Anyone had this recently who can tell me about their experience.  Was it similar to the first surgery? Will I be able to drive home after?

Just can't wait for Tuesday to arrive and get this over with.

  • Hi  and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    I'm sorry to read that you've recently been diagnosed with both melanoma and melanoma in situ.  A wide local excision (WLE) is the normal follow up treatment for these diagnoses and you can read more about it by clicking on the link I've created.

    I had mine 5 years ago and it was done at the same time as I had a sentinel lymph node biopsy, so not exactly the same as you'll be having. 

    Depending on the depth of your melanoma an area of between 1-2cm will be removed all around the area where the melanoma and in situ melanomas were removed. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic unless you've been told otherwise. The areas will usually be closed with stitches, sometimes dissolvable and sometimes not. Sometimes a skin graft is needed to cover the wound area.

    Whether you can drive home afterwards or not will largely depend on where your operation sites are as you are usually advised not to drive if the action of driving causes pain such that you wouldn't be able to react quickly in an emergency.

    It's disappointing that your hospital team haven't provided you with this information and it would probably be best to contact your SCNS before going for your ops to see what she recommends re driving. I had a basal cell carcinoma and a mole removed from my chest and back last summer and I was advised not to drive immediately afterwards.

    When you have a minute it would be great if you could pop something about your diagnosis and treatment so far into your profile as it really helps others when replying to you and also when looking for someone on a similar pathway. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

    I hope everything goes well on Tuesday and don't forget to ask them how soon you should get your results back.


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  • Thank you so much for your reply and appreciate the feedback.

    I have now updated my profile to document my journey and will contact my SCNS on Monday to run through a few things.

    Wishing you all the luck on your journey and thanks again for the support x 

  • Hi Nikster. I had two WLE'S about 3 months ago now.. one on a stage 1B melanoma on my right forearm, and another on a group of Basal cell carcinomas on my left forearm. I opted for a sentinel lymph node biopsy, so it all took place under General Anaesthetic, and I spent the night in hospital, partly due to my age of 75 years. I also had skin flap plastic surgery on both sites, and was quite shocked at the initial appearance when the dressings first came off, but was given reassurance, and sure enough, 3 months down the line the scars are hardly visible. I'm pleased to say that the biopsy was all clear, although it was a very long 4 weeks awaiting the result.  Your melanomas are all at earlier stages than mine, and the in situ ones in particular are also described as stage zero, so the surgery may be much less invasive than mine was. As the surgery was on my arms I wasn't allowed to drive for 2 weeks. I also experienced some pain which was related to the nerves re-growing, but managed OK with just paracetamol. I'm now on a 3 monthly check cycle, but feel that I'm in good hands, so I'm just getting on with my life. Hope all goes well for you on Tuesday. It's normal to be anxious, but on the plus side, the problem has been identified and is being addressed. Sending you good vibes. Take care.

  • Hi I had a WLE  5 weeks ago on lower leg, I would not advise you to drive home from the hospital after you have had it done.

  • Thank you, you have now put my mind at rest to catch the train instead.  

    Hope you are healing well. 

  • Thank you for your reply and glad to hear you are doing well. 

    After the first removal I had a lot of discomfort on one particular area so just dreading going through that again but now I think I know what it was, the nerves regrowing as you mentioned. 

    Yes i have had such good care so far and just so glad I got it checked out when I did.

    Roll on Tuesday. 

    Take care x 

  • I am also going in on Tuesday for my WLE on my upper arm and have been advised by my consultant not to drive for one week.  I am also getting a skin graft from my groin to replace the skin on my arm.  I am stage 3a.  Been advised I will be under sedation for the operation but hoping I get out the same day.

  • I am also going in on Tuesday for my WLE on my upper arm and have been advised by my consultant not to drive for one week.  I am also getting a skin graft from my groin to replace the skin on my arm.  I am stage 3a.  Been advised I will be under sedation for the operation but hoping I get out the same day.

  • Hi yes you will be home the same day, i also had general anaesthetic so advised not to drive afterwards, I had a skin graft done from my thigh to replace tissue on my lower leg

    my friend has just had same procedure as you are having on her arm and healed within two weeks, 

    Mine is still not fully healed 5 weeks on.

    hope every thing goes ok 

  • Good luck for Tuesday and glad I am not alone.

    I am having mine done under local but in 3 different areas on my thighs.  

    I drove home after the first surgery but not going to risk it this time as its a 40 minute drive from Royal Berks and I will obviously have more stitches this time.

    Hope all goes well on Tuesday x