Healing after MOHS Surgery on the lip

Page 3 of Lori's story about her expierence with basal cell on the lip. The MOHS surgery, the skin graff and the healing process.

Hi Kent,
i just took a picture of the lip to show you how it is progressing,the picture is very blurry but it is healing very nicely i can see how as it heals it is shrinking in so i am getting that saucer that the doctor talked about. Someone told me about a procedure where they do liposuction and take the fat and place it in the wound and then graft over it. As soon as i go back to the doctor I am going to ask him about it...And if that works well then while he is taking my fat maybe he could tuck my tummy at the same time... ha ha only kidding

Everyone in work told me that it really is looking better. I took the bandage off yesterday and braved going into my office. It hasn't been that bad... Let me as always thank you again for being there for me through all of this... I probably know your website as well as you do by now. Usually at night I am clicking away looking for anything and everything about flap surgery and other options. Hope to hear back from you soon. I will let you know when i schedule my next doctors appointment also.
Have a wonderful week.

Lip is healed after Mohs surgery

You can see how the skin graf is
shrinking as it heals. Lori still
has options at this point, she's
just undecided which way to go.

Hi Lori,
I think your lip is looking great. Probably most of the shrinking has already happened and I think that area will look even smaller as time goes by. As for the injecting under it, I'd be curious if that really works, but from looking at your face, I truly believe that a flap surgery taken from your cheek could be done without even a visible scar. Something I was wondering about is when you had the MOHS surgery, did they cut clear through the lip or was the inside of the lip left intact? It's really strange how Basal Cell can be relatively small on the outside but grow so much more under the skin. Has the doctor talked about the fact that you may see other occurrences as time goes by?

It would never surprise me to have it again myself, even though I avoid the sun and wear sunscreen when I do have to be outdoors. Sure wish I'd known then what I know now... But the doctor has told me that since I've had it 3 times, there's a very good chance it'll happen again. Each of these 3 times have been about 5 years apart, I'm 2 years out from this last instance so should be basal cell free for another couple of years. Gives one something to look forward to doesn't it? But anyway I'm just saying this, not to scare you but to inform. Don't know about you but I'd always rather be told ahead of time than to find it and not be prepared.

It's about 2:30 am here and I think I'm ready to call it a day,

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The rest of the conversation is mainly chit chat and a few basal cell related questions. I'll include some excerpts from the following parts of our conversation.

Lori:..."Now for the medical question of the week, how long did it take for your mohs wound to start shrinking in and making that scoop on your nose...that you had before your flap surgery. I am wondering if mine is going to sink in even more than it already has...."

Kent:... You asked how long it took for that first patch to shrink. It was probably about half the final depth when I first took the bandage off. Then over the next 4 -5 weeks it shrunk close to what it ended up as. There might have been a little more over a couple months after but it was mostly in the first few weeks. I see that it's been a month now since your MOHS surgery, I think your lip looks like it has healed quite well, all things considered. I'm curious as to what options you are planning to follow up with, you've mentioned a few. Is one more favorable than the others? Also, what do you really think when you see your lip in the mirror? I guess I'm looking for a personal insight here, but think it could be really good information.

Lori:... Anyway, my lip is healing but as it is healing I notice (and it is not just me who noticed this) that my lip is raising up a bit more into the hole as it heals. So I am becoming a bit uneven on the one side. It is still a dark hole and not too nice looking but much better then what it was when I first got the stitches out. I am not sure of all my options yet as my doctor has been out all month. Something medically must have happen to him right after my surgery and first the office told me that he was away for a week, then that following week they said he would be out all month and is suppose to return at the end of September. I am just waiting till the end of the month to see him and go from there. I do know that it needs more work so if the doctor doesn't come back I will be shopping for a new surgeon. My plan is to see my surgeon again and before the next surgery get a second opinion on all of this. You asked me what I think of how my lip looks and personally I can't stand looking at it. It makes me feel horrible when I see it and I am so very conscious of it. But I am so very grateful because it could have been much worse. That is an honest response.
I will let you know what the doctor says at the end of the month.

Kent:...Lori, thank you very much for sharing an honest response to my rather personal question. I know how you feel though, I felt the same way and I don't think there is any real easy way to accept looking different than how we think we should look. If it helps any though, I think that we put much more emphasis on our looks than anyone else that we come in contact with. About your lip pulling up there, that must be normal, my nose pulled up some too when that patch shrank. I think in the long run though that you will find some options that will restore your lip to normal. Be patience and not to hard on yourself.

Lori:...Well, you will never believe this, unfortunately my doctor is no longer in practice. (i will know for sure in 2 weeks) I knew something had happen to him a few weeks after my surgery but his office kept saying he was away on a seminar. Didn't believe this as you just don't pick up and leave when patients have appointments. I called yesterday and they told me they were not at liberty to tell me what happen to the doctor but he was recuperating and to call in 2 weeks and they will let me know if he is ever coming back! I felt so bad for him, thinking maybe he had a stroke or something terrible that would stop him from working again. So I am on my journey now of finding a new doctor to have more surgery. It is healing nicely but my lip is going up with it. it looks like someone put a cigar out on my upper lip. I also think it is done healing and this is the size it is going to stay. If it does shrink more then my lip will be pulled up more with it. I am still very conscious of this and feel that it should be made smaller than what it is. So, one day at a time and one step at a time and hopefully i will get another surgery soon. I have a vacation day today so I am going to look for a doctor on my plan and make some appointments. I am also a bit nervous because there is another little bump that has been on my face and wondering now if it is Basel cell? When I went to the doctor nothing was ever said about it but now I am wondering and will probably ask the doctor to look at it. it is on my cheek very close to the side of my nose. Of course all i keep thinking is that if it is what i will have to go through again. Better safe!!!

Lori....I got a chance to read the website and it is great you can go ahead and post it all, i hope it helps someone else the way it (you) have helped me. i will send you the pictures that you need and i took a few more also. it is amazing that it really has gotten a bit smaller since the first few pics. but i just had another biopsy done on the spot near this one. you can see the spot on the pictures, it is above the area and next to my nose. i am waiting for the results but it doesn't look good. i think i am in for more basil cell mohs surgery. i promise to catch up and send you all pictures on weekend.

Kent....Have you heard the results of your biopsy yet? Lets hope it's nothing, if it is though probably you'll get through it better this time. I know it wasn't as scary for me after the first time. Although this last time had me a little worried because of the reconstruction part. Just wasn't sure how it was going to go being put under like that. That part did bother me. But it all turned out good and I'm sure things will be ok with you too. We'll be thinking about you, let us know when you find out something....Thanks for letting me use our conversation on the website.

This concludes our conversation up to this point. It spans from August 11 to early January, 09. I'll add more to this when we have more information.

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MOHS surgery on the lip - Click here for page 2
Basal Cell on the lip - Click here for page 1