BCC on nose skin graft op - how to recover?

  • 93 replies
  • 26 subscribers

Hello community,

I joined last night after finding a link to the site. I have a BBC on my nose and I'm booked in for my op on the 26th Oct. 

I met my plastic surgeon a few weeks ago and he explained that he'll have to cut around 10mm x 12mm out and then do a skin graft (taken from behind my ear) to fix me up. 

He also said I should expect to be off work for 2-3 weeks and that the first 7-10 days would be when the graft 'takes'. 

The nurse who did my punch biopsy simply said you shouldn't look down in the early days.  What I'm curious to know is what happens after the op to make sure the healing works best? I can't seem to find that info in any of the threads I've found so far. 


  • FormerMember

    I've had an excision, from the tip of my nose - twice in fact - the first time the result wasn't brilliant so I had it redone by a different surgeon. The second surgeon gave me these tips:

    First -  probably obvious - don't smoke.   He thought this was a major cause of graft failure.

    Second, don't bend over for the first few day at all, keep your head up.  I was told bending over was bad for the little capilliaries in the first few days as they re-establish in the graft tissue.

    All the best


  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi Patchy_drizzle,

    Thank you very much for the tips your speedy reply. What an amazingly supportive community! 

    Not smoking will be easy - I'm a nonsmoker. :-)

    Not bending over sounds trickier though. Still, if it's only for the first few days that should be OK. Better than having problems later on I guess.

    I hope my surgeon does a good job first time. 


  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    I had bcc on nose, then a skin graft from shoulder.   Had MOHs done, self paid in London to speed things up. Skin graft partially seemed to take, had black scab on tip of nose but it was healing underneath.   Took 3months to really start looking ok, so be patient with yourself, IT WILL BE OK!   YOU will be the worst critic of your appearance, not others, especially when you tell people what it is....     

    Good luck.   The medical profession is amazing....

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    I was on high whilst at hospital but the operation / procedure side affects did not really kick in until I got home.
    I managed to eat something once I got home but in end felt so rotten / tired I found some old pillows and sheets and made myself a bed on my settee.
    I eventually got to sleep after taking some pain killers because when local anaesthetic wore off my nose / face and ear all started to ache.
    You are told not to lie flat and to use two pillows to prop your head up.  I made myself a very successfully bed on my settee which I used for a few nights to keep my head propped up as suggested.
    You are advised not to bend your head as this can trigger the wounds to bleed.  
    You are told not to bend your knees and not look down if you need pick anything up.  Even though I followed all the advice given to a ’T” the graft site on my nose and donor skin graft site behind my left ear did bleed a little once I got home, however propping my head up in make shift bed seemed to resolve the issue for me.
    I found all the staff in operating theatre from the plastic surgeon, nurses etc all put me at ease so in the end actual procedure was not as bad as I feared, however it is not procedure you would want happen to you every day.
    My surgery took place January 2017.  My graft looks good but at times you can see stitch scars where it was stiched in place on my nose  , the graft is about size of a 50 pence piece.
    The graft site is still numb and rubbery in feeling although even know I massage the graft site and donor site behind my ear twice a day with cream etc.
    I do have a slight problem with graft on the left alar of my nose that when I breath sometimes my nostril appears to collapse.  My Gp is referring me back to the plastic surgeons so that I discuss the issue with them and to see if anything needs to be done in regards this issue which happens occasionally.
    It is a time issue and my graft has improved over the months most people do not notice I have had a graft on my nose, however as individuals that have had BCC's removed we are more aware of the surgery on noses and face etc this just human nature and we should not be ashamed of it.
    I always say follow the advice of the medical  professionals at all times and do massage the areas involved as this helps in the healing process and the overall appearance of the scars and grafts.
    Take care and hope all goes well.
  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Thanks Lattelover. Great advice about being kind to myself too. 

    So glad I found this community. :-)


  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Brilliant! Thanks Westward. I can't believe that last week I was feeling a bit lost to know what to expect and now I have lovely people showering me with really practical advice. 

    It's lifting my spirits. Thank you. 

    And it sounds like you've made a very positive recovery Westward. Fingers crossed it goes smoothly for me too. 

    Thanks again. :-)

    PS - I like being able to  tag these posts - it's the best way to help other people to find stuff when they search. 

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi, I had my op on 6th October, I had Basel cell on my right nostril, had a skin graft taken from my hair line, getting my stitches out this Friday, felt rough for the firs few days, but feeling better today, just it scared how the skin graft looks like. Never had one before

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi Jamsha,

    Three days in and you've already resurfaced. Surely that's great progress? Sounds very encouraging. ;-)

    Good luck with your stitches on Friday. Let me know how that goes when you get the chance.

    Happy days!

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi Everyone I don't know if I am sending a message correctly. I had MOHs surgery on the side of my nose last week and I am reassured that it looks ok. The stitches were removed yesterday but it looks awful to me and my husband won't come near me. I'm trying to be really brave but I don't think he knows how bad I feel. 

    I'm cracking jokes about it but the truth is I feel very upset. 

    I have arranged counselling but I have joined this group to "talk" to people who really understand.

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi Millise,

    Well, your message worked fine. ;-)

    As you'll have worked out from this thread, I'm very much on the outside looking in. I've got my diagnosis and my op lined up and now I've found a load of really lovely people who are helping me to get to grips with what happens next.

    Reading your post, I wonder whether your husband is simply worried (petrified maybe) that if he gets too close, he'll hurt your wound and mess up your recovery? 

    And maybe he doesn't realise how much you're struggling because of your brave face?

    Obviously I don't know either of you but in my experience (and even after 30 years of marriage) I still manage to completely misread some of my husband's reactions!!

    Take care and keep talking. I really do feel as though I'm amongst friends and that's after just a few days on the site. 

    Maybe your husband would benefit from joining the community too? I'm sure he has loads of questions and he probably doesn't know how to find the answers. 

    I'm thinking of suggesting it to my husband....

    Take it gently and good luck.