by Rob Koons
(Louisville, KY, USA)
I was diagnosed with a basil cell carcinoma in August 2009. This spot was on my upper lip and had been there for about 3 years and within the last year had collapsed. I actually thought it was going away but instead it started to go through cycles where it would heal then become very sore and bleed.
After being diagnosed and my Dr. told me I needed to have Mohs surgery I went home and started looking on the internet at the pictures and then was scared to death. I can handle a lot of pain and that did not scare me but being disfigured for life did!!
I own multiple businesses and did not want to go the next 20 years looking like some strange creature with a disfigured face. I chose to ignore these feelings and just go through with it.
My Dr. was very good and assured me that when this was over I would not have hardly any scarring. He did ask me to quit smoking 3 days prior to surgery and 5 days after.
I went in for the surgery, I never quit smoking, and he assured me again he would not get in over his head that day and that if it was going to be too complicated he would not just keep cutting and send me out to find someone to fix his mess.
He took a needle up through the inside of my lip and gave me a nerve block. This surprised me since the needle was large and it did hurt a hair but it helped.
The surgery to take the spot off was over pretty quick and they bandaged me up and sent me to a nice waiting room to wait on the first report on if they got all the cancer. One hour later they came back and to my surprise I was clean!!
Then came the fun part of closing it up. He gave me another nerve block but this
time they seemed to take forever numbing my face. Since they had to do some additional cutting for the skin flap, the are they had to numb was rather large.
I think it took almost 30 minutes to get me numb again and I was ready to leave after that. The surgery to close me up took another 45 minutes and once it was over I was pretty swollen but it was over.
I was prescribed pain pills and did I ever need them. I left the Drs. Office around 4 and by 7 that night I was ready to cry. I am a grown man and I have never felt that kind of pain when the blood started flowing through the area again and the numbing wore off.
I should have taken the pain medication the moment I got them but I waited. An hour later I was okay again and the worst was over.
It is one week later and I got the stitches out yesterday and the Dr. was amazed I healed so quickly. He thought it was since I cut back on smoking but told him I lied and that I never cut back any. The only thing we could figure was that since I do take Excedrin like candy for headaches that the thin blood flowing back to the flap helped healing.
Anyway one week later you cannot tell I had surgery unless you right on top of me and really study it real close. This is amazing since on the day after surgery it bothered me to even look at myself in the mirror since my top lip was 5 times its size.
My suggestion is find a great Dr. and once your convinced you have the best available then just do it. Do not over think it or talk yourself out of it. It's not fun but nothing to be feared. I hope to upload pictures tomorrow but will send you pictures if anyone wants to see.