DH had his Mohs surgery

jennava19July 6, 2011

yesterday, on his ear. Eleven hours at the surgical center. Grueling day for him. Today he had his reconstruction surgery at the hospital. Plastic Surgeon said all went well. Thank you all for the prayers for him.

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Eleven hours? Oh my. I know about Mohs surgery now because my Mom had skin cancer on her nose in April. She discussed and debated whether to have the surgery or go with the chemo cream (name?). She opted for the cream and boy did her nose get sore and ugly! Thank goodness the cancer is gone and her skin looks nice and clear there again.

Good luck to your hubby on his recovery.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Special healing thoughts for your husband!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:11PM
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Grueling day for you, too. Glad that part is behind you.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:07PM
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Glad that his surgery went well so that maybe now he can get on the road to recovery and have all of that ordeal behind him.

Have had it twice on my nose - neither one was that extensive a surgery but they aren't fun!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:53AM
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Boy, we know all about the Mohs surgery...My hubby has been battling skin cancer for close to 50 years and thank goodness we have a dermatologist in the family, who keeps it under check....The last time, his Mohs surgery lasted all day, he had a small growth below his ear and ended up with about 30 stitches....Skin cancer is tricky, but with the new treatments they are coming up with, it's very treatable.....
Good luck to your husband, speedy recovery.....

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Glad it's over! Whew!

Hearing how extensive this was, now I *know* Mohs was overkill for the tiny bump near my upper lip. The 'regular' dermatologist said she could remove it but recommended I go to a specialist for a Mohs procedure. Meh. Much ado about nothing. (Most of the literature in the specialist's office was about face lifts!)

I AM grateful I didn't NEED it and glad it's available for people who DO.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Glenda, Georgysmom, thank you all! DH said tell all my KT friends that he appreciates the prayers and good thoughts
Schoolhouse.... Used the chemo cream on his face. IT looked like a third degree burn. This is the third surgery on his ear, the other two were done by the plastic surgeon that did the reconstruction/graft yesterday. Basal cell cancer, but a nasty one, very aggressive! There were even cancer cells on the grafted skin from the previous two surgeries.
The Mohs surgeon and her team were great, takes so long because they cut layers, check the pathology, and go back if needed. It took 11 hours because they had to cut three times. His ear looks like raw hamburger. The Pl. surgeon yesterday took a very large section of skin off his upper thigh for the graft. I told DH that now he will have 3 inch long hairs growing out of that ear. lol
Sunny DJ... wow, 50 years! sure have to be careful and hyper alert. someone asked me if he never used sunscreen. He is very diligent about that. But DH is 62, how much did we know back in our teens about sunscreen and skin cancer? He does wear hats, use high SPF sunscreen etc. Best of luck to your hubby too.
DesArc.. you had Mohs twice? hope it took care of it for you. That place was really hopping! There were a lot of people in there getting the Mohs procedure.

long days for me too. I have three herniated disks in my back, sitting in those chairs at the hospital is not fun. But hopefully, this will get him straight!
Everyone have a wonderful day!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:41AM
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I'm glad your DH's Mohs surgery went well, but your description of it is making me a little uneasy. My DH had a cyst removed from below the outside corner of his left eye in mid-June. The dermatologist said the biopsy showed some Basal cells, so he's scheduled for Mohs surgery on 7/19. What kind of scares me is he was told that, if needed, skin from his eyelid--which is drooping--- will be used as a graft. Guess we'll just have to wait and see---and pray a lot!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:25PM
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MYwheel,,, Sorry I did not mean to frighten or gross anyone out. We believe that Mohs was an excellent choice for my DH, especially with the number of recurrences and the place the cancer is. His Mohs surgeon also does reconstruction, but she and the plastic surgeon decided between them that he would do the reconstruction.
When I first posted about Mohs, a lot of KT members answered me back with their experiences with Mohs. I do not remember even one negative comment. There was a woman in there Tuesday that had a basal cell removed from the inside corner of her eye, right at her nose. She was in and out much quicker than we were. DH's cancer was pretty deep.

Please do not decide against Mohs without more research. When the Plastic surgeon looked at his ear yesterday before they took him to the operating room for the skin graft, he commented that the Mohs doc did a great job. He (the Pl. Surgeon) was expecting to have to do a flap reconstruction of most of the lower part of his ear. All he had to do was a large skin graft.

Also, the pre-op nurse at the hospital for his reconstruct had had Mohs done on the side of her nose for squamous cell. DH said you could not even see a scar.

Chisue... better safe than sorry! Did you have the Mohs or did your regular derm. remove it? I have a cyst on my lower eyelid that is not going away, after months, and yesterday Pl. Surgeon looked at it and said he could remove it. That is for later though, after we get DH through all this.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:44PM
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Amazing Aunt Audrey

So glad he got through this first part so well. Prayers that the rest he must endure goes equally as well.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:08PM
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Third degree burns describes it alright. Just wanted to mention that altho the basal cell cancer was on her nose, she had two other small red blotches appear on her upper cheek while she was using the cream. The nurse told her there must have been cancer cells there as well and the chemo got them too. Makes us wonder if she'll have more occurrences of the cancer appear on her face later.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:28PM
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My DH had his Mohs surgery this morning, basal cells being removed from below the outside corner of his left eye. He was fortunate in that one cutting got it all and that the surgeon said he wouldn't have to do a graft to help close the incision. The skin for that would have been taken from his eyelid, so, no "free" drooping eyelid repair for him! :>)

He does, though, have a black eye and an ice pack of frozen peas to help the swelling!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:18PM
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I've read this with interest because Harry had 3 spots removed last month. One was nothing, the second was basal cell but they got it all and the third one, on his face is also cancerous and they didn't get it all so he has an appointment with the plastic surgeon next week. I wonder if Mohs is what they will discuss with him. Did they put him out for those 11 hours?

Glad you both made it through the day yesterday. It does make for a long day.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 4:20PM
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Patti43... No, DH had local anesthetic, just the injections (novocaine i guess.) in his ear before each cutting. He was not in the surgery room the whole eleven hours, that is just how long we had to be at the surgery center. They do the first cutting, then have to wait on the pathology to see if they need to cut more. We were there so long because they had to cut so many times. His surgery the next day, at the hospital, for the reconstruction of his ear, was under general anesthesia. Thank goodness for that!
From all the comments here and from what I have read on the internet, Mohs has great success rate. If I were you,. I would do some research before his appointment, and if the Plastic Surgeon does not bring up Mohs, I would ask. Good luck to your DH, I will keep him in my prayers.
MWHEEL... I apologize for misspelling your screen name before. Glad they got his in just one cutting. Will pray that they got it all and he heals well.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 5:35PM
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This is surgery for skin cancer? Never heard of it. I have a feeling I might in the future though....my dh needs to get to a derm. asap. He's got "spots" that are very suspicious; he's just very stubborn.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 6:47AM
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Glad the day is behind him (and you), and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 7:41AM
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Thanks Jenna, I will ask. It seems a better alternative to the chemo cream Schoolhouse mentioned. Boy, I learn a lot here!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Thanks for your good wishes and prayers. My DH had only local injections, too, in fact, some of it was numbed by swabbing the area. We're thankful the surgeon got it in one try, even though the total time was five hours. It took 55 minutes to do the wound closure. He said he knew he got it all, b/c there were actually sutures inside from when the first surgery was done--almost 30 years ago!

Patti43, I've used the chemo cream 3 times over a period of 20 years. The first time, I, too, looked like a 2nd or 3rd degree burn victim. The last two times have not been anywhere near as drastic as that one, but there are still spots which the cream has brought to the surface. I've been fortunate in that, so far, I haven't had anything that's needed surgery. That's why I go for a yearly, complete body, skin check.

Now, since it's been 24 hours, I'm going to change the dressing; I'm a little apprehensive, b/c I don't want to mess up. Fortunately, the printed instructions are clear and concise.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:34PM
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juellie1962... yes, it was skin cancer. Google Mohs Micrographic surgery. Lots of good information. You can even find a surgeon near you.

Patti... DH also used the chemo cream several times. I think (just guessing) they try the cream before they have to cut. The cream worked on his face, but the ear was too bad.

mwheel..... you will be okay with changing the dressing. just take your time

We just got back from Plastic Surgeon, 2 weeks post op check up, doc says ear is looking good. And graft site on leg is healing well. Hopefully he is on the road to recovery. This has really taken a lot out of him.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Both DH and I have had MOHS surgeries in the past few years, we are in our 60's.

It is usually recommended for the face. It's great if you have a plastic surgeon lined up in case it's larger than anticipated. Mine was a tiny spot above upper lip, basal cell. I wish I had gone with the fluoricel cream(sp) as I ended up with a huge hole requiring skin grafting, stiches etc.
Later on sympathizing with several other patients, who underwent the same procedure, we all felt this particular civilian, dermatology group pressured us to undergo the MOHS, because we had good insurance, and they were more concerned with profits.

(I had mentioned to the dermatologist, that my husband had been prescribed cream by the military MD, for the basal cell, cancers on his face, the doctor's response was that the military used the cheapest methods available, and that if I didn't get the MOHS asap the cancer would continue growing at a rapid pace).
The military doctors discovered a squamous cell on DH's earlobe about a year later. He was in and out of the hospital for a MOHS within a couple of hours. Granted the ear lobe is different than upper lip but his MOHS barely shows any scar unlike mine.

As for the fluoricel cream, DH has been prescribed that many times over the years for his face and body. Yes it's uncomfortable, and for a couple of weeks unsightly but it does the same thing as MOHS without cutting chunks of flesh out and having to reconstruct!

I would be very cautious about the dermatologist, the dermatology practice, and whether the skin cancer is basal or squamous cell, also the size/location and if you decide to go ahead with MOHS, make sure the reconstruction surgery is performed by a board certified, facial plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience and comes highly recommended!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I agree with emilynewhome. I didn't *need* the MOHS procedure. Have no history of skin cancer -- and the regular dermatologist had said she *could* remove and biopsy, but *recommended* the surgery. In my case I am certain this was all about profit.

DH has had several pre-cancerous spots removed and has used the creams. One spot on his forehead tested positive, and his regular dermatologist cut down farther until she got clean margins -- no referral for MOHS.

I've been a 'hothouse flower' all my life -- not outdoors-y. DH lettered in tennis and swimming in HS and spent summers at camp. We are both pale-skinned, blue-eyed people. I just had less exposure during my 70 years.

jullie -- Make the appointment and march your DH into the doctor. You could save him a lot of woe. Maybe tell him how *expensive* it is to treat this stuff if you don't catch it early! Perhaps his wallet will listen. lol

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 1:03PM
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