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Thread: Dissolvable Sutures Sticking Out From Nose After Skin Cancer Surgery!

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Recent surgery on nose lesion that turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma!

    I'm hoping to get some insight into what I may have to look forward to after just getting a small red lesion surgically removed from my nose last week. I am 64 years old. I noticed this small spot about 10-12 years ago and it never changed. I just thought it was a harmless little spot since it never gave me a problem. In 2010 it started to bleed out of the blue. About 4-5 times over the next 8 years it bled some. It never changed in size or appearance. I brought it to the attention of my PCP on occasion; she examined it and never told me she was concerned about it. I had a skin check done twice in the past year and was not told either time it looked suspicious. My ENT asked if he wanted me to let him remove it at the same time he was doing my sinus surgery about 2 1/2 years ago, but since I thought it was nothing to worry about I told him no, just leave it be. Early last month I requested a visit with that same ENT (whom I've seen for all of my nasal and sinus issues for over 15 years) to check this spot on my nose. I need to add that my ENT is also a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. I was for some reason starting to get concerned even though it still had not changed in appearance, though it did bleed again the week before I set this appointment. He examined it, measured it at 3mm and had me use Bacitracin on it 3x/day for 3 weeks and come back to see him. I did that and saw him again 3 weeks later. This time when he measured it the size was 4mm x 6mm - just like that. He said it now looked a little crusty and he seemed somewhat concerned. He did however put in his report after both of these visits that the nose lesion appeared vascular and most likely benign. So still I didn't really worry. He suggested surgery to excise/biopsy it would be the best option. The very next week I had the surgery (under general anesthesia instead of a local because of my many health problems that I have like Sleep Apnea, COPD, and irregular heart beat). He explained beforehand that he would cut the entire lesion out plus the surrounding margins and use a Flap Closure to close the incision. I also had about 100 stitches. While I was till groggy after the surgery he spoke to my husband in the waiting area that the surgery went well, that it WAS skin cancer and that it was all removed. I was shocked and scared later when I heard what was found during the surgery. I had a bandaged (steri-strips) nose with occasional bleeding for the next week until the doctor removed them 6 days after the surgery. He cut the stitches out (all but the dissolvable ones) and cleaned up my nose. Of course the first question I asked him was what kind of skin cancer it was (I was hoping he would say "basal cell carcinoma" since from all I read this was the least dangerous of the 3 types, the most easily treated with least chance of recurrence). He told me it was squamous cell carcinoma, that he got it all and then gave me the instructions for caring for the incision/wound at home. He also said there would be scarring but was confident I wouldn't be changed too much cosmetically. So now 3 days after that doctor's visit I'm on my computer constantly reading everything I could find out about this type of skin cancer and what I have to look forward to. I am a ball of anxiety and worried that I should never leave the house again for even a few seconds of sun exposure. Just riding in the car exposes you; walking from the car to the grocery exposes you. I've worked myself up into such a state that I'm resigning myself to a life of being a recluse who never leaves the house for fear of that sun. I'm looking for any words of wisdom that can help me better understand what I need to know going forward and how to lessen my chances of more skin cancers in the future. Advice or encouragement is what I need. Thanks to any and all who can help!

  2. #2
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Dissolvable Sutures Sticking Out From Nose After Skin Cancer Surgery!

    I had surgery on my nose a little over 2 weeks ago to remove a lesion that turned out to be a squamous cell carcinoma. A week after the surgery the doctor removed the bandages and the stitches on the outside of my nose. He said there were still dissolvable stitches under the incision and not to worry - they would dissolve and be gone in time. Now after 2 1/2 weeks as I'm doing my routine cleaning of the wound area I notice a white stringy thing sticking out of the wound on my nose. I'm assuming it's a dissolvable stitch and it's poking through the skin on top of my nose where the incision was closed up. Is this something to be concerned about? I am not going to attempt to pull it out with my fingers or tweezers as I am afraid of reopening the wound. What do you usually do in a case like this? Will this suture eventually just fall off or will I have to undergo another surgery so the doctor can open the wound up and remove the rest of the dissolvable stitches? It kind of has me freaked out! It just looks weird having that piece of suture sticking out. It appears to be maybe 3-4 mm long where it sticks out from the skin.

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Welcome to our forum and sorry you have not received responses to your questions. Our melanoma forum is not very active but wanted to respond to you.

    I have merged your threads in order to keep things organized so members are better able to respond.

    I have no knowledge when it comes to your specific situation but what i can say, o would suggest you call your doctor as most doctors will advise a patient to report any thing of concern in regards to changes or concerns about healing.

    We can not advise on what to do so doctor is your resource when it comes to any discharge you are seeing.


  4. #4
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Hi, sorry you are going through the trauma of being apprehensive. Its normal . I also panicked not knowing all the facts.
    I, ( I am 65) haven't been to this forum in years do to raising my grandkids,...I am at work and thought I would visit the forum and saw your post.
    You can check my profile, I began with a small mosquito bite type of dot on my nose-never even thought about skin cancer ever..... evolved in a year to a classic small pearl size issue(bleeding, never healing ) co-workers were the ones who dramatized my condition and made me look into a dermatologist. They did an immediate biopsy. The saga began. That was years ago....

    Had gone through several years of biopsies, 30 radiation treatments then full nose graph as fear of melanoma was in the beginning stages....my nose became very ugly again after healing to new born skin from radiation treatments to rapidly growing freckle like lesions making my nose quite bulbous, Hense the nose graph....

    I work outside on the water most 7 days a week ....wear hats, sun glasses(cataract surgery 2 years ago) sun protective clothing .
    They have nose guards to block sun, sun shield hats, scarves....etc. my scar is significant as they used my belly skin to graph the nose....make up does wonders.
    I refuse to be a recluse as I need to work. I cover up and continue one day at a time. I also have other issues but I worry less about skin cancer knowing I am covering what I can. And I live in Florida.
    It never went to melanoma-only BCC and SCC. Keep regular check ups, take photos and mark any concerns you have. I was also sent for complete physicals at the time of diagnosis -including the dentist to make sure I did not have suspicious lesions any where else on my body.
    A good derm will always encourage you to come in and check you out if you suspect something.
    I now have an aggressive pink crusty lesion on my leg and go in 2 weeks . I am not worried. "When in doubt, cut it out " is fine with me.
    Maybe its a wart.....so I am not going to waste my time worrying about something until a diagnosis is determined . I know it is difficult to remain calm, but as they say here, Dr. Google is not always your friend....worry will cause other problems.
    I have many friends who are SCC survivors, as well as melanoma survivors. Catch it in time, don't wait like I did...and trust your self!
    Be well and good luck moving forward. It can always be worse . You are young and need to get out there and be happy!
    Last edited by boatlady; 06-22-2019 at 03:05 PM. Reason: error


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