My Melanoma Mohs Surgery | Life and Linda

My Melanoma Mohs Surgery

Hello friends, I wanted to share my experience having Mohs surgery.
In case some of you do not know, Mohs surgery is defined as the highest quality of care available for skin cancer patients.
For skin cancer, the highest curable rates is achieved using Mohs micrographic surgery.

If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is a good possibility it is curable, but if not found early, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths.

Some of you might be offended by my images below.  I try to share my experience with my readers. If you are faint of heart, you might want to  leave now.

It is all done in the doctor's office.  It is basically an all day event. We arrived about 9:15 AM.  My appointment was 9:30.  We left the office after 5:00 PM.

There were patients there waiting to hear their results after having their surgery.
Most had skin cancer on their faces.  Head, cheek, ear, and nose.

I was definitely in a different situation since my Melanoma skin cancer was on my chest.

The Mohs surgery is done while patients are awake and alert. You are given injections of anesthetic.  The injections numb the area around where the skin is removed.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, the surgery can begin. The surgeon starts by first cutting out the visible skin cancer. Next, the surgeon removes a thin layer of surrounding skin. 

You’re then bandaged so that you can wait  in the waiting room.  My husband went out to buy us lunch.  We sat in the car and enjoyed our lunch.

While you wait, the Mohs surgeon looks at the removed skin under a microscope. The surgeon is looking for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, you’ll need another layer of skin removed.This process of removing a thin layer of skin and looking at it under a microscope continues until the surgeon no longer sees cancer cells.

Fortunately for me, I did not need a second cutting.  At the end of the day, I was brought back and numbed again.  After waiting longer, I was transferred to the big operating room where the doctor cut arrows on each side of my circular incision. If he was to stitch up a circle, there would be puckering. So to avoid the puckers, two incisions are made on opposite ends of the circle.  The wound looks like a football.  The incision is pulled together to create a straight stitch line.

I have to say, it is painful.  I am resting.  Hopefully the scar line will be minimal.
You can see the football shape here on my chest.  When I texted my husband a photos, he said Wow! My husband also said, if the incision went higher, it would connect with my horizontal thyroid incision and look like a cross.

If you have a scar, congratulations!  It is a badge of  courage, healing and life.
Every scar tells story.  Most Mohs surgeon  are dermatologists who have completed extensive training in Mohs surgery. Below is my stitchline. Dr. Bricca said it is skin sewing.  I go back next week to check my incision.  The stitches are dissolvable.  I have learned to embrace all of my scars.

Dr Bricca and his staff are fantastic.  The hardest part is the waiting.

Don't forget those skin checks. It's very important to catch any signs of cancer, whether it's Melanoma,  Squamous Cell Carcinoma, or Basal Cell Cancer.
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About Linda @ Life and Linda

Hello, welcome to LifeandLinda. I am from Northern California. I enjoy blogging, Designing Blogs, Decorating, cooking, entertaining, gardening and clogging. I hope you enjoy your visit.

31 comments:

  1. Hi Linda, I am happy to hear that your surgery went well. I wish you a full recovery.
    After spending my teenage years at the beach everyday during the summer I am more careful now in my adult years. I don't go out in the sun as much and wear SPF and stay in the shade when I am at the beach.
    Thanks for the update and all. Take care and big hugs to you!
    Julie

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  2. Thank you, dear Linda, for sharing this with us. I’m glad that you didn’t have to have the second cutting. I can understand why the scars are a badge of life! I so appreciate all the information you gave us. Happy healing to you. Sending love 💕 and hugs 🤗 to you.

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  3. I'm glad it all went well. Any scar that results from saving your life is a great scar to have. May you have a speedy recovery and heal quickly!

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  4. I am so glad everything went well with the surgery and for you, Linda! May you continue to be cancer free and live a happy, healthy long life! Thanks for sharing your experience and hopefully help to save lives, too!

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  5. Good for you for posting this, Linda. I'm glad the surgery went well. Sending wishes and prayers for healing!

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  6. Linda, I'm so glad Your surgery went well. Keeping You in my Thoughts and Prayers. Sincerely, MJ

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  7. Wow that was quite a procedure. Wishing you a smooth recovery. Big hugs, Liz

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  8. Dear Linda, Thank you for sharing your personal story. This is such important info about this surgery. It is so important to take care when in the sun and hopefully this will help many become aware. Wishing you speedy and quick recovery. Hugs.......

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  9. Thank you for being bold and sharing your Mohs surgery here. I had that done in 2015 and it only took about an hour. Each case is different of course.

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  10. AnonymousJuly 11, 2019

    Linda, thanks so much for sharing and so glad you did not have to do a second go-round. I have needed to make an appointment for a while and you are a sign that I need to get to the dr.

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  11. I was so relieved to read the good news Linda. Now you can take a deep breTh snd be so thankful they have this procedure and this cancer is survived without invasive chemo treatments. While I have been deep in painting and fixing the new house I was saying a little prayer for you on Monday.
    Big Hugs
    Kris

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  12. So glad to hear the good news. I too have had Mohs surgery on my face. I still have pre-cancer spots "frozen" off my face and chest at each 6 months check up but no more requiring Mohs. I can't stress enough frequent check ups and sun screen. I think it is the curse of us fair skinned folk.

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  13. I had basal cell removed last year. The strange thing is that I wear a strong compression stocking on the leg where it was discovered. Any way I go and have the full body scan and have for the last number of years. As in October 2017 my father passed from melanoma. Fair skinned Irish with blonde hair and blue eyes is what I have. I have never been one to sit out in the sun. But I am so much more careful now. My six siblings and I are all very careful.
    I wish you a wonderful recovery and all the best.

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  14. I am glad your surgery is over and you had good results. I wish you a speedy and easy recovery.
    Thank you for sharing the importance of check ups and taking precautions in the sun.

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  15. I'm so glad your surgeon didn't have to go further with a second cutting, Linda! My husband is very fair and has skin issues with two basal cell removals. When we grew up the sun was worshipped and not respected as we should these days. It's very good of you to post about melanoma--I'm so glad you were diligent in getting your's taken care of!

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  16. I am so happy for you that they found this and removed it!! I have had quite a few MOHS surgeries and can happily say that many of the scars have faded! I hope you are feeling better and are relieved to know that it's all over and hope you heal quickly!!

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  17. Linda, I was sent here by my friend Diana K. My mother in law had mohs surgery last year - just like yours but on her face. It was devastating for her as an 89 year old, very attractive woman. Her face is permanently scarred but she has persevered and has taught us all a valuable lesson about the sun. I hope you continue to heal and send you a virtual hug my (new) friend!

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  18. Hi. Nana Diana sent me over and I’m glad I did. I’m so happy to read this post and know that you got through this. It reminded me that I’m due for a skin check. Continued healing.

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  19. Hello Linda I found you through Diana's post. Can I say you're a warrior. She mentioned four cancers and I applaud your courage.

    Skin cancer is scary. Luckily for me I was not a big sunbathers. When I was of course I was stupid and wanted instant. I would be bored in five minutes and done so I never have been tan.

    I would love to start following your blog. Hope you follow my story as well. I'm a warrior of MS who loves decor etc.

    Good luck in your recovery. Happy to make a new friend in blogland.

    Cindy

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  20. Linda, so very thankful your surgery went well. As you know, we have been there. However, Mark's was much more substantial due to his need reconstructive surgery afterwards. We have said from day one, if sharing our story and his visible scars saves just one life it was worth it. We have already had THREE, yes THREE, friends go for checks and have surgeries since. None thus far Melanoma because it was caught early. Praise God!

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  21. Wow, Linda, kudos to you for being proactive in getting your melanoma treated! I am a big fan of Mohs surgery, and my annual skin checkups are with a local Mohs surgeon. I have seen his work on a friend who had melanoma on her face and her scar healed beautifully, couldn't even tell she had the surgery, no kidding. Regardless, I am with you - the scars are definitely badges of courage, healing and life!
    XO

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  22. I admit I do not protect my skin like I should. I have always been a sun lover. I do keep check for unusual spots and have my doctor look at anything I question. I have dodged the bullet so far but it could get scary anytime. I have used more sun screen in the past couple years.
    prayers to you.
    Lisa

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  23. Linda, You are in my prayers...as is my daughter and sil. They have had tiny things removed. But still... My daughter was life guard in her teens and I was always saying put on sunscreen. These days the sun's ray are even more wicked. Blessings to you sweet girl, xoxo, Susie

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  24. So glad everything came back ok for you, you are in my prayers for a speedy recovery. I've had a few moles removed that were pre cancerous and it's not fun.... I avoid sun as much as possible as I'm very fair skinned. :-) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, be sure to rest!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  25. So glad to hear this is behind you, I have been worrying and thinking of you. Skin cancer is serious business, I have to be very careful as I've had 2 little places removed...I get screened every 6 month. Thanks for sharing and your upbeat attitude!
    Jenna

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  26. Blessings on your recovery Linda...I had skin cancer on my nose and after 5 biopsies the surgeon was able to reconstruct with great success! I just signed up for your blog! Nana Diana's blog.. let folks know, so I am thinking of you and praying "All will be Well".. warm wishes, Judy

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  27. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to the dangers of all types of skin cancers. I think I mentioned before that I suffer too and I will be checking all of my spots a little closer plus scheduling a visit to my dermatologist. I attempt to treat my spots that I recognize with Efudex that I have left over from a full facial treatment a few years ago. I was not brave enough to post my horrible pictures. My Grandmother had melanoma so I'm very careful to look for darker spots. Being a redhead I have so many freckles sometimes it's so hard to find so a check up is in order. Wishing you a speeding recovery.

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  28. Hi, Linda! I came over from NanaDiana's blog to let you know I've added you to my prayer list – covering you in much prayer for healing and comfort! You have great information on this cancer. I lost both my mama in 1971 AND stepmom in 2012 to METS breast cancer, different from your type of cancer, but still cancer. Hugs and blessings to you! ♥

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  29. I'm so sorry to read this. I had no idea that you were going through this. Saying a prayer for you. I hope your story brings information to someone else that will help them. Blessings!

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  30. From NanaDiana; I will keep you in my prayers, Linda. God bless you.

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  31. Prayers for your recovery! I have just finished ten years in a long-term clinical trial for people at high risk for melanoma. Thankfully, nothing found and I am very glad that I could add to information about melanoma. Take good care!

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