What if You’re Not Happy with Your Post-Skin Cancer Surgery Look?
Last updated: March 2023
Those who have Mohs surgery on their face often get some form of plastic surgery after they’re done. This is to minimize some scarring. But what if you’re not happy with your post-skin cancer surgery look?
A personal connection
Long before I had skin cancer, my mother had it. Hers was on her face like mine was. I remember going to the doctor with her, and all the questions she asked. She asked her dermatologist if she’d be left with a scar since the skin cancer was on her nose. He assured her that there would be minimal scarring.
Fast forward to long after her surgery, and till her death, she had a disfigured nose. Mind you, it wasn’t anything that would send children screaming in horror, but it didn’t look right.
Looking back, if I knew then what I know now, I’d have encouraged her to talk to a different doctor to see if the scarring could be altered. She was very self-conscious about the fact that her nose was larger on one side.
My experience was different
I also had skin cancer on my face - twice. Mine was under each eye, and both had Mohs Surgery to rid my body of the cancer. Both times I had a plastic surgeon who took care of the wound after Mohs.
One side had very little scarring - more like a wrinkle than a huge cut. But the other side had more skin cancer to remove, and I had way more stitches. In fact, I believe I had 20 stitches. That left a scar under my eye that never did smooth out as they said, but it’s not that noticeable.
What if you’re not happy with your post-skin cancer surgery look?
Perhaps the first thing to do is have some patience if the doctor advises you to do so. This doesn’t mean you should just take their word for it if something doesn’t feel right. Get a second opinion to see if another doctor feels like you are healing fine, or if there is something they can do to help with the way you look.
A different doctor might be able to help
While the most important thing is to remove the cancer, I get it. Your looks are still important to you. It never hurts to ask someone else. Perhaps a different plastic surgeon can do more to help you than your original doctor. If not, then it may be more difficult to accept the way you look - and I totally understand.
My point is, don’t stop trying. Don’t just take one doctor’s word for it if you don’t feel things are right. My mom should have seen someone else, but she trusted what her doctor told her. Sometimes we trust those in power because aren’t they supposed to know more than you do? But doctors aren’t infallible. Like anyone, they make mistakes. That’s why you should always see what another one says.
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