Having survived a ten-hour ordeal on my Mohs surgery day, I’m still not done, because I still have an open wound on my nose…
*** Warning: Disturbing Image Below ***
The standard practice is to return the very next day (while the wound is fresh) for what is called “reconstruction”, which in my case sounds a lot worse that it really was.
Anyway, I had three options (all clearly explained by my most competent surgeon):
- Option #1. Do nothing to seal the wound (Pros: no further surgery required. Cons: leaves a divot in your nose and has the highest probability of recurrence)
- Option #2. Cover wound with a flap of nearby skin (Pros: the best chance of healing properly and a good option cosmetically. Cons: more surgery required, more trauma to the nose)
- Option #3. Do a graft using skin from behind the ear (Pros: cosmetically a good option, no further trauma to your nose. Cons: two surgery sites, slightly higher risk of graft failure)
I chose option #2 because it would look okay and have the highest chance of healing properly and permanently.
Reconstruction Day. More needlesticks to the nose. Only the first one hurts. More surgery to prep the wound and create the flap, but no big deal compared to the epic ordeal the day before.
Another two weeks with sutures in your nose. Keep the wound clean. Some anxiety still about infection or the graft failing. as the days go by, my faced turned black and blue in places I didn’t expect, but everything eventually healed up just fine. I am happy I chose this reconstruction option. A decade later and counting, my nose looks ok and the cancer has not recurred.
But I want to leave you with a photograph taken just after the dressing was removed…
I want you to remember this picture because I don’t want you to go through this.
Stay. Out. Of. The. Sun.