Reconstruction after BCC surgery – direct closure
How is a wound closed directly?
Usually, the wound after basal cell carcinoma surgery will be a round or oval shape. If this was stitched closed at this point, the two ends of the wound would ‘poke up’ or bulge. To counter this and try to leave a flatter scar, the surgeon will cut these ‘bulges’ out at the same time. This means the scar will be longer, but flatter. Occasionally small bulges can remain though.
The surgeon will also usually try to close your wound so that the scar is orientated in the most cosmetic way.
What stitches are used?
This can vary depending on factors such as size of wound, location, width of wound, and surgeon preference. Quite often, dissolving stitches will be put deep into the wound, giving it more strength while the scar forms.
For the skin, either dissolving or non-dissolving stitches may be used.
When dissolving stitches are used, these usually ‘melt away’ and fall out after about 7-10 days. You therefore don’t need to have these removed, but they can sometimes leave small stitch marks (pin-point scars) either side of the main scar.
Sometimes, the surgeon can use a subcuticular stitch. This is a stitch that runs inside the skin, so as it dissolves it won’t leave stitch marks. This stitch can’t always be used though.
Non-dissolving stitches are usually taken out at around 5-10 days, depending on which part of the body they have been used. They can usually just be cut with fine scissors and slid out of the wound fairly painlessly.
Other BCC reconstruction pages
This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any concerns about any skin growth, or the treatment options, you should consult a medical professional urgently