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Black Eye After Mohs Surgery: What You Need to Know

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black eye after mohs surgery

Mohs surgery is a specialized form of treatment for skin cancer, which provides a higher cure rate than more traditional methods.

It involves removing the skin’s lesion while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. It's most often utilized to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), two common types of nonmelanoma skin cancer that can develop around the eyes, forehead, temple, scalp and ears.

In this article, we will discuss the essentials of Mohs surgery near the eye, eyelid and lesion surgical sites and the role of skin cancer surgery in eliminating cancer cells and cancerous tissue

We'll also answer if you can get a black eye after Mohs surgery and tips on how to recover from it quickly.

Mohs Surgery for Eyelid Cancer: What to Expect

When it comes to eye surgeries, Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is one of the most highly recommended treatments for eyelid cancer.

This procedure typically takes between 1-3 hours and the patient will remain awake throughout. In order to keep them calm and relaxed, medications may be given.

The procedure is usually performed by a specialist specially trained in Mohs procedure, a technique developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs.

Once the Mohs surgeon has removed all of the tumor cells or surrounding areas, they will make their final assessment as to how best proceed with wound repair.

If the surgical wound is small enough, it can simply be left to heal naturally or stitches may be used to close it. 

Skin grafting or skin flaps could be an option if necessary, while more significant amounts of tissue removal may require a follow-up plastic surgery appointment down the line.

Can You Get Black Eye After Mohs Surgery?

Swelling and bruising are normal following Mohs Surgery, particularly when it is performed around the eyes.

It is very normal to develop a black eye after undergoing surgery around the eyes and nose area. 

This is because the eyelid skin is thin and easily susceptible to bruising due to the concave orbit, which allows for easy trapping of the small blood droplets.

Even facial procedures on the forehead can sometimes result in a black eye because of gravity's effects pulling down those same droplets towards the eyelids. 

Because of this, it should not be unexpected if a black eye appears several days post-surgery.

How to Reduce Swelling and Discoloration

Mohs Surgery can be a scary proposition for some, leaving them with a lot of questions about how to best heal and take care of their skin. 

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to minimize swelling and discoloration after having Mohs surgery.

Here are 3 tips to reduce swelling and discoloration from Mohs surgery:

Use Cold Compresses

Cold compresses can help reduce swelling, discomfort, and inflammation. Apply cold compresses in 20-minute intervals.

This should be done frequently during the first 12 hours after surgery. Leave the cold compress off for an equal amount of time between applications so that your skin can get used to normal temperature again.

Cleanse the Skin

It’s important to keep the skin clean and free from dirt or other pollutants that may cause further irritation or infection after surgery windows open.

To do this, it's necessary to use mild soap and warm water at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bedtime – in order to wash away bacteria, dirt and debris that build up on the wound area over time.

Avoid Exposure

Exposure to sun or wind in the days immediately following your surgery is likely to worsen any potential swelling or discoloration you’re experiencing by damaging your newly sensitive skin cells.

Make sure you wear protective clothing when outside or otherwise exposed susceptible body parts (hands or face) from direct sunlight/wind exposure until your healing is complete.

Following these tips should help you reduce post-surgery swelling and discoloration while also facilitating quicker overall recovery rate if adopted as part of a comprehensive regimen.

Over-the-Counter Treatments After Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery is one of the most effective treatments for skin cancer, but it can leave skin raw, tender, and sensitive afterwards. 

There might also be some discomfort depending on the type of surgery made.

The size and location of the wound can play a role in the degree of pain, but generally taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is sufficient to manage it. 

In some cases, more potent medications like codeine may be prescribed. Occasionally, there can be some bleeding post-operatively. However, the use of pressure should stop this.

Over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatments are an excellent choice for helping soothe and protect skin after Mohs Surgery.

After undergoing surgery, it’s important to use moisturizers that help keep the skin hydrated while providing a barrier between your newly-healed skin and irritating elements like sweat or wind.

To maintain cleanliness and comfort around the site of the patch/graft, we recommend using a washcloth or face wipes. Micellar water on reusable cotton pads can also be effective for this purpose. A gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser works well.

Patients should avoid using lotions and creams on the grafted area; however, they are still encouraged to practice their normal skin-care regimen on the rest of their face as usual.

Taking these steps will not only help you get back on your feet more quickly, but also give you peace of mind knowing that your incision sites will heal properly.

What Should You Not Do After Mohs Surgery?

Here are some things you should avoid doing after a Mohs Surgery procedure:

Don’t Ignore Your Follow-up Appointment

Set up a follow-up appointment with your doctor within two weeks after surgery so your wound can be checked for healing and any remaining signs of skin cancer.

Don’t Wear Tight Clothing

During the recovery process, wear loose clothing over your wound so it can breathe and heal properly without any added pressure or irritation that tight clothing may cause.

Don’t Expose Yourself to Sunlight Without Taking Precautions

Your doctor will likely recommend using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when spending time outside during your recovery period since sunlight can cause more damage to affected skin that hasn’t healed completely yet.

Be sure to look for a product that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation – UVA rays contribute mainly to wrinkles while UVB contributes mainly to sunburns — and an SPF of 30 or higher should suffice for most people in most climates .Make sure that you reapply every two hours while outdoors!

Avoid excessive activity for at least three days after Mohs surgery

This includes strenuous physical activity: 

  • No bending or heavy lifting
  • No rigorous exercise or exertion
  • Do not make important plans in the days immediately following your surgery

To ensure a successful outcome from Mohs procedure, it is important for patients to use caution during their recovery phase by avoiding these common post-surgery mistakes. 

Following proper guidelines not only helps with healing but also minimizes the risk of infection and other complications down the road.


Dr. Mendese and his staff at Dermatology and Skin Health

Mohs surgery near the eye is a delicate procedure that should be performed by trained and experienced professionals. 

After the operation, it is important to adhere to best practices for postoperative care in order to avoid potential risks and complications. It is recommended that patients limit their activity and allow the wound to heal properly while continuing with regular follow-up with their doctor. 

Keeping an eye on the healing process and detecting complications early increases the chances of successful recovery. Don’t focus only on post-operation safety but also equip yourself in advance with knowledge regarding what needs to be done if surgical complications do arise. 

Educating yourself prior to surgery can help to ensure smoothness of your recovery process, as well as decrease any chances of further risk or trauma around the delicate area near your eyes.

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