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The top portion of this post is a repost of May 21, 2016, and the lower portion is new material

The squamous cell carcinoma on my right shin looked like this before the surgery. [The photos were added to the original post on the dates noted.]

Diagnosis of possible squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma February 10, 2016 , when I first showed it to the VA doctors.

This first photo was taken of my right shin 20 hours after the surgery.

Electrodessication and curettage

May 8, 2016 20 hours after electrodessication and curettage.

The curettage cut marks are clearly visible as strips across the wound area. Around the wound are needle marks were the numbing agents were injected. These pinpricks were the only pain felt before, during and for the weeks after the operation.

Squamous Cell Carcinoam surgery

Squamous Cell Carcinoma May 12, 2016 , 5 days after the surgery.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma on May 18, 12 days after the surgery.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma 14 days after operation

Squamous Cell Carcinoma May 20, 2016, 2 weeks after surgery.

Squamous cell carcinoma 3 weeks after surgery.

Squamous cell carcinoma May 27, 2016, 3 weeks after surgery.

These photos make this procedure look a lot worse than it felt. The only discomfort I have felt is in bed when my legs get crossed over the wound. The wound is slow to heal, but the doctors were confident that there would be no trouble, because this type of carcinoma is confined to the surface of the skin, and all of that has been removed.

I have been cleaning the wound every day as instructed. Immediately after removing the old bandage I get into the shower, which has been preheated to mouth temperature, and soap the wound and rub it gently with my palm for a few seconds, and then rinse and repeat three times. Within seconds, even before drying anywhere I smoothly smear a pea size gob of petroleum jelly over the whole wound, and immediately put a bandage over the mess. Then I towel dry the rest of my body.

That procedure is intended to prevent infection because everything is kept very clean, and the natural body-moisture beneath the jelly is ideal for healing. When using this procedure a scab doesn’t form because the healing skin is kept moist, and they told me the new flesh forms more smoothly.

The doctors say that squamous cell carcinoma is the least dangerous form of cancer; all the same it is probably best to have it removed before it grows larger.


Here below is new material, two 1/2 months later.

Squamous cell carcinoma July 12, 2016, 2 1/2 months after surgery.

Squamous cell carcinoma July 12, 2016, 2 1/2 months after surgery.

The surgery site still looks discolored, but the skin is now smooth with only a small lump where the flesh was removed. That lump seems to be receding each day. I have been bathing the site every day and instantly covering it with Vaseline mineral oil and then bandaging it with non-stick bandages.

Today, for the first time I didn’t put the non-stick bandage on, but after smearing the petroleum jelly on I put an adhesive bandage directly over the wound.  It has never become infected, and there has never been any pain. There has developed some swollen red streaks outside of the bandage which haven’t gone away. I put various things on these streaks for several days, antibiotic ointment, Tinactin anti-fungal cream, A+D anti-inflammation cream, but nothing seemed to make any difference. However, they seem to be going away.

A friend of mine had major facial surgery two weeks after my surgery, but they used modern micro-stitching techniques for putting his face back together. The next few days he was very bruised looking but a week later looked normal and now it is impossible to see anything abnormal. He says he still has some tight feeling in the skin and some pain, but those problems are soothed with pills.

I wouldn’t hesitate to go through this electrodessication, curettage procedure again to remove even a benign carcinoma, but one must be ready for about ten minutes of fussing around every day for a couple of months with the clean up and re-bandaging of the wound.

With medical problems just get good advice and do the right things.

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