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July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm #55236
jamesluke and casey188, i clearly had no clue what ‘narrow margins’ meant in a skin cancer report.. No wonder I had problems communicating with the doctor. Knowledge is power. Thank you.July 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm #55237 I’m impressed with how so many melanoma patients here seem to truly be experts in the disease. You all seem to have backgrounds in medicine or at the least, biology. Regardless, you are very much appreciated.July 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm #55238casey188Participant Honestly we are only knowledgeable because we had to be! It helps to put the diagnosis in perspective and be your own best advocate. In no time at all you will be in that same place. Good luck!July 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm #55239 Correct again. Deep shave bx was done. Second surgery tomorrow at 1:00. Wonder how much pain? i guess we all feel pain differently making no answer to the question would fit for all.July 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm #55240cohanjaParticipant I had WLE a year ago on my upper back (left side). It was not terribly painful, I actually stopped taking the strong stuff pretty quickly because it gave me upset stomach and so I went to Tylenol and was fine with that. The thing that happened with me is either I started moving around too much too soon, or it was going to happen anyway just because of the location. . you almost can’t move without stretching that area. . .so it opened up. So, while it started healing and the skin was very thin there, it eventually opened up and so I had a big hole in my back for a long time while it healed from the inside out. It didn’t get infected, it didn’t really hurt, and my wife would just change the dressing on it each day. I didn’t need one of those vacuum things that drain fluid or anything like that, I just let it slowly heal after it opened, and eventually after maybe couple months it finally healed up. Because of that, the scar is bigger, of course. My surgeon is a very skilled, very good surgeon (specializes in breast cancer and melanoma), but he sees this scar and just says it’s not in his top 10 that he’s done, that’s for sure. I don’t care so much about the cosmetic part. I actually have talked to one dermatologist who said when she does a WLE in that part of the back, she knows it is likely to open so she doesn’t even bother to close it up, she just lets it heal from the inside out. So, try not to stretch it out too much after surgery, let it come together and heal. The other thing is the scar will go through a lot of changes, color changes, etc….so don’t let that freak you out. I always would think every color change in the scar was some sort of recurrence. It wasn’t, it was just the scar changing a lot. Doctor said recurrence would not be that fast, first of all. I actually had a biopsy done on an area of the scar that was colored darker, but turned out to be ruptured hair follicle. Good luck, the surgery will be fine. The pain was not that bad for me, just try not to stretch that part of your back too much afterwards. . which is hard to do since most movements involve your back. . .upper back between shoulder blades is where mine was.July 7, 2012 at 3:55 am #55241 cohanja, thanks for sharing your personal experience with WLE on your upper back, like mine. The pain was not bad, Maybe a 4 out of 10. I was given norco. The doctor said he took the layers down to the muscle. I assume that’s a good thing. Also said that everything went exactly as he anticipated, no surprises. i can’t touch my chin to my chest and it feels like the sutures could stretch and tear if I’m not extra careful. The procedure took an hour. Hope I don’t have a two month healing process like you, cohanja, but I have been warned it could happen. Reading you previous post really helped me make it through the day.
Peace, KrissyJuly 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm #55242cohanjaParticipant
A week out, how are you doing/feeling? Yes, always feels like any movement is stretching it and probably most movement does move that area somewhat. It’s hard, just do the best you can to try and let it heal up without disturbing it too much. Yes, I think depth wise they go down to the fascia. I’m a year out and still sometimes feel “funny” sensations in the scar. . gets dry sometimes so I put lotion (well, my wife does. . I can’t reach it), etc. . Glad our info helped youJuly 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm #55243 I hear it’s common for back excisions to open up, so i have been very careful.
The steri strips actually have stayed dry and in place 6 days. This surprises me. I counted, and the appointment for suture removal is 22 days after excision. i clearly remembering the doc saying to have them removed in 10-14. i think 22 days is just asking for that foreign body response where sutures get angry. If the appointment can’t be moved up, i’ll do it myself. LOL, just remembered i can’t reach them. anyway..
As far as post-op discomfort, it’s been just a bit irritating and certainly no pain involved.
Wishing i had the path report, but Doc is in Costa Rica. All things in good time. Have a great weekend.
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