Mohs surgery on large basal cell carcinoma with repair and healing

Korene made an appointment with her dermatologist when she noticed a small scabby spot on the side of her nose was not healing.  Her dermatologist took a biopsy which showed basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Basal skin cancers are the most common and result from abnormal, uncontrolled growth of basal cells. It grows slowly and rarely spreads, but they can become dangerously deep and wide.

Because this BCC was on her face, Korene’s dermatologist recommended Mohs surgery by Dr. Ryan Thorpe.

Mohs surgery is a is microscopically controlled surgery that treats both common and rare types of skin cancer in cosmetically challenging locations. During the surgery, after each removal of tissue and while the patient waits, the Mohs surgeon examines the tissue under a microscope for cancer cells.

The Process

The Mohs process examines 100 percent of the tissue margins under the microscope, whereas in standard surgical excision only 1 percent of the margins are examined microscopically. Mohs surgery also conserves the greatest amount of healthy tissue, giving you the smallest scar possible.

Having had BCC on her chest previously, Korene knew it needed to be removed, but was only expecting “maybe a couple of stitches,” she explains.  Unfortunately, the cancer had grown deeper and wider.  She talked about her experience in the chair, “It’s a waiting game.  They take a slice and check it out come back and do it again. And unfortunately I had to do it several times.  But you wouldn’t know it by looking at me at this point.”

Korene says, “Dr. Thorpe was amazing, ’cause I couldn’t understand how he was going to close that big hole up, and took his time and I hand an incision from my eye all the way down to my mouth and was quite shocked.”

The healed area is a very pleasant surprise for her.  “I have people I run into and they cannot tell whatsoever ’til I show the picture of what actually happened!”

After Care

Korene says her after-surgery care was very easy.  “The only thing I really couldn’t do is bend over for a week. And I had a little pain when I would smile because I had sutures in there. Simple! …. It took about 3 weeks to feel normal…. I was in total shock at how quickly this healed.”

Watch Korene’s full interview here:


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