Mohs surgery

tom-earMy husband had a Mohs surgery on his ear a couple months ago and it was a really good way to get rid of ALL the cancer.

His surgeon did it in really interesting way. I had thought that they would take the first slice, then wait in the room where he was while they looked at the pathology, then take another, etc until all the cancer was gone.

Instead, they took the first slice, then back to waiting room. Next person, first slice while they were looking at the pathology, then another person, first slice…

Then a round of second slices, then thirds.

It took longer than I’d thought but it was really good talking to other family members and patients during that time.

 

 

From the Mayo Clinic

Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery is also known as Mohs micrographic surgery.

The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Mohs surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic.

Mohs surgery is an improvement to standard surgery (local excision), which involves removing the visible cancer and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue all at once. Mohs surgery allows surgeons to verify that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery. This increases the chance of a cure and reduces the need for additional treatments or additional surgery.

Biopsy 2 of 4

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having some biopsies done.  It had been planned for 3 of them today  2 on my right leg, 1 on my left.

Up at 6:30 to put Lidocaine/Prilocaine cream on the places, covered with waterproof bandages.

I arrived at my doctor’s at 8:30 and found that my insurance would only allow one biopsy at a time. <sigh>

 

leg1

The doctor removed most (or all?) of the largest one. There are 3 internal stitches and 7 on the outside.  When those 7 are removed in a couple weeks, the doctor will remove the second one, on the other leg.  Then, when the stitches come out for that, she’ll remove the 3rd.

My summer at the doctor’s.  LOL

Meanwhile, we were hoping the pathology report would come back today for the forehead one I did last week but it hasn’t yet.  No news is good news!

 

Patient Instructions for Biopsy Site Care from Johns Hopkins

  1. Leave your wound dressings in place for the rest of the day of the biopsy and keep them dry.
  2. Change band-aids daily starting the day after the biopsy.
  3. Showers are fine starting the day after the biopsy. Leave the band-aids in place while you shower and change them after you dry off.
  4. During the time period of daily band-aid changes, do not soak in a bath or swim.
  5. The average time for daily band-aid changes is 5 to 6 days (range is from 1 or 2 days up to 2 weeks).
  6. If you need to use anything to clean the wounds, hydrogen peroxide is recommended. If the wounds are fine (i.e., no signs of infection), all that is required is a daily band-aid change.
  7. The wounds may or may not form a scab as they heal; either way is fine.
  8. Continue to change the band-aids daily until there are no open wounds.
  9. The local anesthetic used for the biopsy will usually last for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure. After it wears off, you may have some mild, localized soreness and tenderness at the biopsy sites over the next day or two. You may find regular Tylenol is helpful for the discomfort.
  10. Refrain from doing extremely strenuous activity for the rest of the day of your biopsy (such as running or heavy lifting).
  11. Once you are without the band-aid, the biopsy sites may look slightly red or darker than the rest of your skin. This discoloration will gradually fade and blend back with your normal skin color. This fading process may take anywhere from a few months up to a year.
  12. It is very rare for people to have any problems during the healing period. It is normal for the biopsy sites to bleed a little bit or drain pink fluid for a day or two after the biopsies. They should not bleed excessively (i.e., through the band-aid) after that time. They should never drain pus. If you do experience problems with significant bleeding, redness, infection, or other problems, call your doctor’s office.