I was recently diagnosed with a .44 melanoma on my lower leg. I have had the first biopsy and attended an appointment yesterday with a plastic surgeon to discuss the second surgery which will include a skin graft. I had ARDS in l997 and as a result I have COPD and I am allergic to most antibiotics. I am needing information to help make the decision about the necessity of the second surgical procedure and skin graft considering the risks involved in the healing process, etc. I have heard the lower leg is difficult to heal and very possible the graft wont take. I also was not aware that the second procedure would require hospitalization. I have enough anxiety about hospitals since my 4 month stay in ICU that I can’t even imagine agreeing to the surgery. I am also wondering if I should consult with an oncologist. I have seen a dermatologist and plastic surgeon and wonder why an oncologist was not recommended. Thanks for any information and support you can provide.
I can understand your hesitancy. I had a similar melanoma and skin graft the back of leg where there is little skin. I was told if I had an excisional biopsy, I didn’t necessary need the second surgery and skin graft. That with a shallow lesion and yours is very shallow, an excisional biopsy should have taken care of any melanoma cells. If you just had a punch or shave it may be a different story. Now I did all of my surgery under local anesthesia because I was pregnant and just had IV valium That could be an option for you since it requires little time in the hospital. Work with some professionals who are compassionate about your situation and maybe a compromise can be achieved. Let us know.
Thanks for your responses! I am not sure what kind of a biopsy I had. Maybe it was a shave. The dermatologist used a scoop like mechanism with a scissor action that removed lesion starting with the outside edges. There were no stitches. It will take a month to heal. So IV valium and local anesthetic were used for your excision and the skin graft? You were awake throughout the procedure? Did you have trouble with the graft and about how long did it take you to heal?
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