BCC on nose skin graft op - how to recover?

FormerMember
FormerMember
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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. 

Thanks 

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Yes I'm am very pleased with my progress after 3 days, I'm just tired and my head feels a bit dizzy, but I'm doing great, managed to get a shower today, yes course I will let you know what the outcome is on Friday,

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    I also went to the hairdresser to get my hair washed, due to nose op.   

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Brilliant Lattelover! Maybe I can persuade one of my older kids to help with this, though I love a hairdresser hairwash too.....

    On a slightly different note (following on from Millise' post) my husband said something last night that made me stop and think. He said he'd held back from opening up about my cancer diagnosis to his friends / colleagues because he thought I'd trivialise it or play it down if I saw them. And that would make him look stupid. I can see where he's coming from. 

    I know this might be silly but we have friends who are going through really difficult cancer treatments for the 'bad ones' and in comparison my little bcc op does seem insignificant and nothing to worry / make a fuss about. The trouble is, it's upon us now and it's still cancer which needs an invasive, if fairly common, surgical procedure to sort it out. And I know I need to tell a few more people at work before I go off because they'll know after I come back that I haven't been on a three week cruise!! And by then, I'll probably prefer fewer of those "what have you done to yourself?" type comments.... 

    Does that resonate with you?

    Thanks.... 


  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hello again

    Like you I had concerns re having  BCC on my nose.

    You may the quote I received from one of online Macmillan nurses useful it clearly advises BCC is a from of cancer.

    “A basal cell carcinoma is a form of cancer and is clearly identified as a cancer by the National Cancer and Registration Analysis Service.   As you state that the basal cell carcinoma is suspected I’m assuming that either a biopsy was inconclusive or that your dermatologist wishes to operate without one. This means that you may not have conclusive evidence that you were treated for a basal cell carcinoma until the pathology results are available after the operation. This can take several days.”

    Mine was eventually confirmed as BCC lesion that has been excised with good margins.

    You may also find this other information useful too.

    I had a BCC lesion removed off the left alar of my nose back January of this year that was repaired by using a skin graft.  It is nearly 10 months since my surgery although the graft has no real feeling it has healed well and the plastic surgeon has done a good job as the graft is not that noticeable to lay person who would not know I had surgery on my nose.  I am aware of the graft at times and attended a session with Changing Faces on camouflage make up.  The lady who I saw at  Changing Faces showed me the best way to apply camouflage makeup and the best colour I should use so that I can hide my skin graft scar if I feel the need to use make up at anytime.

    However most of the time I do not cover the graft with any makeup as it looks good without it, I really only wanted to advice on how to hide the scar/graft when I needed to go places where I felt it would be better for my confidence if the scar/graft was less visible.

     Although at the beginning I was worried like you over how the scar/graft would heal and did not want to show my face much in public.  It is human nature we feel concerned by the scars left by this type of surgery, rest assured the scars/grafts do improve with time.

    Once again all the best for your forth coming surgery and hope it goes well.

     

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Thank you Westward for your time, helpful comments and best wishes. 

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    Hi all.   This is a nice thread going here.   There are many many emotions to this issue and , yes, we are (sort of) lucky to only have bcc.     I am 5months after bcc on my nose, skin graft, MOHs surgery.    All my friends say they hardly notice it now and the colour is getting closer and closer to just one shade.   I feel it will take a year to really look invisible.    I wear 50spf  sun screen all the time and use a hat When outside.   I am now ok with always wearing a hat and I feel I will just be “that character”, unique with wearing a hat.   I used to hate wearing one but now I say to myself who cares!!!    It is better for me.....    it is an interesting journey that teaches you a lot.....,   Best of luck all!  

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember

    Hi

    I had my surgery 2 weeks ago today, mine was under my left eye and they had to remove my tear duct, which was explained before I went in. The team was extremely nice and kept me at ease the whole time I was there. They did nt do a skin graft instead they peeled back my skin and stretched it to reconstruct my lower eye lid.

    I left wearing a large pressure bandage that covered my good eye, making my lazy eye to do the work it has nt don't in years. I was unable to wear glasses due to the dressing. My advice here is to get a magnifying glass.

    I went home expecting pain once the local wore of even taking paracetamol expecting pain to hit. These to my surprise were not needed in my case nor  have I needed them in the last two weeks.

    I pushed myself to go out even before the dressing was off accompanied by my sister. This received mixed reaction s from Jo public from staring with mouth open to one women falling down a step. This sent my sister and me into fits of giggles. There was also a lot of concern from people and I told most the truth after saying that I had a black head or something similar. 

    The dressing s came of four days later, it was a relief to get my sight back. At last I could look at the surgeon s work, I was very impressed as I was unsure what to expect due to been stitched from my eye to my chin. We left the hospital and went to top up on supplies at Tesco scaring a few small children on the way.,also a few adults.

    I refused to become a hermit these are my battle scars of a war I have won, a week later I was out with my best friend eating in a local l pub. I know people who know me again mixed reaction from pretending not to notice to questions of what happened..

    I won't pretend it has been easy I take a deep breath every time I go out but the more I do the easier it get s.

    I'm healing well and I hope this helps anyone who reads this 

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember

    Hi Rainbow Frantida,

    I had my surgery done on October 4th and they say that it is good to keep the wounds moist. This improves healing. I would get some cotton buds and a fresh pot of Vaseline. Also I bought bactigras which is a paraffin impregnated antiseptic  gauze that you can put on the wound and then apply the Vaseline over the top and then put a non adhesive dressing over the top stuck down with a hypo allergenic tape such as mepore and mine is healing up a treat.I would get it dressed by the practice nurse for the first couple of times, so pre-book a couple of appointments with the nurse. You can also ask for saline pods for cleaning and sterile gauze for cleaning the wounds. You can get all the above dressings on ebay.

    When you have it done I would make sure you have cocodamol as the first few days you will feel a bit sore, but it won't be anything you can't cope with. It's not excruciating, it feels more like a burnlike pins and needle type of pain if that makes sense.

    The first couple of days just rest up and no heavy lifting, exertion or cleaning due to the risk of bleeding or infection. A good way of getting out of house work :-) What I wasn't prepared for is how tired you will feel and how this can impact on your mood. Keep talking to friends but mainly rest up.

    When you are ready, let me know and I can tell you about support that is out there that I never knew about.

    Best wishes,

    Millise xx

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    hi everyone, hope ur all well, had my stitches out today, my donor site has healed very well, my skin graft looks purple at the moment and smooth, but will know next Friday if it has properly taken,

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to FormerMember

    You made me giggle Jay Bird! I love your positive attitude, really inspirational. ;-)

    I was also hoping to get out and about while I'm off. I could do with the exercise frankly. And any excuse for a pub lunch sounds like a plan to me.....


    At least my bcc is just above my nose tip so hopefully I can carry on wearing my glasses. If not, I'll still be able to enjoy that pub lunch!! 


    Thank you for your lovely post and good luck with your recovery journey. 


    Bravo!