BCC removal with skin graft

Hi, I had an infiltrative BCC on my nose, which was diagnosed back in September.  Due to delays in the nhs system, and basically being overlooked, the surgery wasn't done until Monday. The original plan had been to do an excision with local flap under a local anaesthetic. On Monday the consultant told me that this proceedure was no longer appropriate as the lesion was too big , so after long discussions I opted for full excision with skin graft from neck under a general. ( I was offered MOHS but that would mean making another appointment and I had already waiting 8 months for this one. ) . I go back in 10 days for the dressing to be changed. Its a weird dark gray sponge like thing......what is that? Recovery this week has been hard. I'm so tired. I I had not prepared for this, and if I'm honest feel a little cheesed off...

  • That is sad Looby Lou, the system has let you down.  I have had two bcc's done on my face recetly one skin flap and one skin graft.  I too had a sponge like thing on the skin graft mine was bright blue.  Consultant said I looked like a blue bumble bee.  I asked the Consultant what it was and he told me they stitch a dressing to the graft and to stop it being rejected they stitch this sponge like "thing" on and it soaks up blood and skin debris and bascially holds the graft in place.  I had the skin taken from side of my face, and stitches and dessing off in 7 days. When this was done it didn't look very nice, huge scab and very red, but it is now 7 weeks after and healing well. Was very akward as I wear glasses and couldn't wear them because of the dressing and now have to be careful as skin delicate.  Consultant told me that in time it well settle and not be so noticeable, about a year.  Try not to worry too much I am sure you will be fine and hope the margins they took away were good.  Your tiredness and recovering will be because you had full general and not a local.  Good job they were able to do it and you hadn't eaten anything beforehand.  Where did you have it done.  Take care, good luck and contact me whenever you want to.  This group has helped me so much x

  • Hi, thanks for your reply. Its nice to talk to someone who's going through the same ! I hope your recovery continues well, and this is the last of these procedures for you. 

    My graft came from where my neck meets my shoulder. The dressing came off this morning so I can now wash my hair ! Yay! 

    I had my surgery in Chichester, and they were all so lovely ! The dressing on my nose comes off in 2 weeks.....2 weeks of looking like Nanny Macphee! 

  • Ps I wear glasses full time too.....its so hard, but I have just ordered a headband thing which holds your glasses off your nose.....it ain't gonna look pretty  but at least I can see !!! Lol 

  • Hello lobby loo and harlyn, sounds like you've had a similar experience to me. I thought I'd recovered so well from the bilobal surgery, only to be told there were still cancer cells in my nose and further surgery needed. Got to decide now between MOHS and traditional... All the best

  • Hi Woodsider - sorry to read your story this damn basal cell cancer is a nuisance.  What is bilobal surgery please.  I was offered MOHS but I declined and went for ordinary in both caases, mainly as if I had MOHS my plastic surgeon would only have been involvedf in the reconstruction and I wanted him to do everytyhing, as I had so much trust in him. Luckily in both cases he did take as wide margin so surrounding skin was cancer free.  Whereabouts do you live. Keep in touch and will always be here to help and advise you as best I can.  Just been doing my massage with bio oil. x

    • Thanks so much for the reply! I'm in Hull, but feeling tempted to go for the MOHS in Leeds. But on the other hand, I trust and like my consultant here... Not sure what to do. The skin graft sounds like a long and strange experience which I'm not looking forward to! The bilobal is they cut the side of your nose in two circles, pull it all together and stitch it up. It was very quick to heal as it was living flesh, and looked fine once the stitches dissolved. 
  • Hello. Sorry to hear your surgery wasn't successful, and that you need a further proceedure. Did they not offer you radiotherapy as an option? I have had a wide margin excision and a full thickness graft to just over a third of my nose. Looking after it is quite labour intensive, and the recovery is quite long. I was advised to take a photo once a week so I can see the progress. I go back to the consultant in 2 weeks, and will find out then if I need radiotherapy. I haven't any experience of the MOHS proceedure, but from what I understand they are more guaranteed to get all the cancer cells, as its checked at each stage. Good luck with whatever you decide, and let us know how you get on.