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Potential Side Effects from Surgery for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

The length of time it takes to recover from surgery is different for each person. The two most common side effects from surgery are pain and scarring.

Pain

Surgery causes temporary pain in the area of the operation. You may be uncomfortable during the first few days after surgery, but pain can be controlled with medications. Discuss pain relief with your doctor or nurse.

Scarring

Any skin surgery leaves scars. The same is true for surgery to remove skin cancer. Your doctor will use techniques to hide the scar as much as possible. About a week after surgery, he or she usually removes the sutures placed to hold the wound closed. Healing progresses steadily after that. Early on, the scar may be red or bumpy. It takes about a full year for a scar to finish fading. Be sure to speak with your doctor about ways to aid healing. Most often, though, your body’s natural healing abilities are the most powerful and simply take time.