Hi there, I received the news 3 days ago that I had a stage 1a melanoma removed from an inner thigh. I'd like to know more about the healing and recovery process after the wide local excision surgery which is next month. The wound from the initial biopsy still hasn't healed after 3 weeks which is why I'm concerned. Will I need time off work? Thanks for your help.
Hi there. I was diagnosed with the same in January. I had my wider excision with a skin graft on 11 April. My melanoma was on my leg about two inches below my knee. I am now 5 weeks on from the procedure and although donor graft site and wound are healing well, I am still not able to drive or do anything too physical. That’s mainly due to the skin graft. As your excision will be on your inner thigh I would say that is more sensitive than mine and it will of course depend on whether you will need a skin graft. I hope all goes well for you. I must also add that my results came back clear. Best wishes.
Hello and thank you for your response. I'm glad to hear about your results and hope you're well. I don't recall being given any info about my potential recovery with regards to driving and work hence my post. How big was your excision if you don't mind me asking? I'm really not sure what to say to my manager... I'm on my feet all day apart from my 30 minutes lunch break. I did get the impression that I won't need a skin graft... I will give my case worker a call on Monday as I have a holiday booked not long after my surgery date but I wasn't asked about any future plans. Feeling a bit confused! Take care and thank you once again..
Hi. My excision was approx 7cm by about 3cm which is why I had the graft. It was too wide to be stitched. I’m pretty sure you would have already been told if you were going to have a graft. So, I shouldn’t think your healing will be as long but you will of course be resting until you have healed. I am going a bit mad having to stay at home and not do very much but it’s a small price to pay. I send you my best wishes.
The area of your WLE and the depth of your melanoma will determine how large the excision will be and how it will heal. This link to an NHS hospital leaflet may help explain the details https://www.uhb.nhs.uk/Downloads/pdf/PiWideLocalExcision.pdf
If you are on your feet most of the working day I think you will need to take at least a week off sick, if not more. All the post op details for recovery will be given to you when discharged after surgery but you would be best to forewarn your employer that you will need some time off sick. My WLE was on my shin and I was advised to take at least a week off - and I had a desk job! Also, dependant on your job, some employers don't like employees going to work if a surgical wound hasn't healed as their insurance wouldn't cover you if your wound was knocked etc.
Angie (Stage 3 melanoma patient)