Monday, April 29, 2013

skin and surgeries

Tomorrow, I'm having an outpatient procedure to remove a spot on my skin. This isn't anything new to me, but I wanted to share my experience with skin surgery. Last year, I went to the doctor to have a few spots on my skin checked out. She literally went over my entire body, checking for anything out of the ordinary. I knew that a couple spots had either changed, or appeared out of nowhere. Both spots were biopsied, she removed a little bit of skin from each, for testing.

A week later I received a phone call that the test results came back positive for pre-cancerous cells. The woman on the phone was adamant about telling me it was not cancer, but that in the future they had the potential to become cancerous. She said that the doctor wanted to remove them immediately. I was quite calm, and said ok let's do it. Even when she asked if I wanted to consult with my parents first, or take some time. My thought process was, if they need to be removed, let's do it as soon as possible.

I had my procedure the following week. The first area was on my chest, closer to my shoulder. While the second was on my neck, but much smaller. The procedure was quite quick, though I kept my eyes closed the entire time out of fear of seeing my skin. I couldn't feel anything, except for the stitching thread moving across my chest. That's probably when I was the most nervous, because even though I couldn't feel anything in the area, I knew he was stitching me up. After the doctor was finished, I had gauze and bandages in place, and was on my way.

I never had stitches before, so seeing the surgery aftermath was intense. I was overly cautious about showering, getting dressed, and sleeping. I had dreams about accidently pulling out my stitches. After one long week of endless polysporin and bandaids, I was back at the doctor's to have my stitches removed. The removal was quick and painless, though I was bleeding a little afterwards.

I ended up scarring in both areas, which was to be expected. However, the stitches left scars as well, looking like crosshatches in my incision line. It's really only noticeable close up, so I don't worry about it. My procedure tomorrow is actually with a plastic surgeon who should be able to leave me with less scarring.

If you have any spots or areas on your skin that concern you, I would definitely recommend having a doctor check them out. I will need to do a yearly check up for the rest of my life, just to keep an eye out for anything abnormal. I'd rather be proactive about it, than face any health risks in the future.


  1. Awe bless your heart. I had two removed last summer. One really big one on my back. Good luck tomorrow. You will def be in my prayers :)

  2. Great post! I have a mole on my back that has bothered me for years. I went to the doctor about it and was told it's fine, but if I wanted to remove it it would be a cosmetic procedure and would cost a couple hundred dollars. Your post makes me think I shouldn't worry about the cost and just get it done anyway. I'd hate for it to become cancerous one day.

  3. Good for you for getting those checked out! I'm sure there are a lot of people (myself included!) who would put something like that off thinking, "It's probably nothing." The more I hear stories like yours the more it reminds me that skin cancer is real and we need to hold ourselves accountable for noticing changes in our body.

  4. Funny that I read this after I literally just got off the phone with my fiance telling my I need to make a dermatologist appt. I am sure I will need to have some moles removed, and I, like you, could care less about discussing with my parents or fiance. If they need to removed, cut them off. Thanks for sharing your experience! It helps put me at ease!

  5. Good for you! My brothers girlfriend had a mole and she was worried about it, she went to the doctors and they said it was nothing. She insisted that she wanted it removed, so they did. They then ran tests on it and it was indeed cancerous. Good luck :) I'm a new follower :) - would love for you to check my blog out at some point. x

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this. My husband is really bad about wearing sunscreen and I'm always telling him that you just have to protect yourself. We try to go to the derm at least once a year to just make sure everything is ok. I'm glad you are ok - it's so brave of you to just have it removed!