← Return to Scheduled for a Vermilionectomy for premalignant lip tissue

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Hi, I’m new to the group & need some support. I’ve just finished Fluorobalm 1% treatment for 2 weeks on my lower lip for Actinic Cheilitis. My dermatologist said she would do a biopsy if my lower lip is not smooth when I return on March 8, 2023. I have a feeling that it will not be smooth. I also had a 2nd opinion & both dermatologists do not see or feel Squamous Cell & agree with the approach.
How long does it take for a biopsy to heal? I see that in severe cases a vermillionectomy is required which can take up to 4 months to heal. I’m scared of the thought of having my entire lower lip shaved & reconstructed.
Thanks for any positive experiences with cancer of the lower lip.

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Replies to "Hi, I’m new to the group & need some support. I’ve just finished Fluorobalm 1% treatment..."

@marshaj, welcome. I can imagine how scared you are about have a vermilionectomy and the healing period. Having anything done on one's face is nerve-wracking to say the least.

I'm hoping that @mizlynnie sees your post and is able to return to share her experiences. If I recall correctly she had the procedure only recently or will soon be having it. It can really help to hear from someone who has been there.

I have seen some images of post surgery and post recovery which look very good. It appears that you with the second opinion you have confidence in the choice of treatment, which good. Your main concern is the recovery period, right?

Hi Marsha and thank you Colleen for connecting us …
A little background: 2022 starting in early July, I had a non-healing lesion on my lower lip. My dentist insisted I have it checked out. October 2022, the biopsy results came back from the oral surgeon as Advanced Actinic Keratosis. Both the dentist and oral surgeon were surprised it was not SCC.
As the biopsy site failed to heal, I saw my dermatologist (had to wait until December 2022 for an appointment). He stated I had "very advanced" Actinic Keratosis and recommended a Vermilionectomy. He stated it was a "brutal" procedure, but in my case was necessary to preclude SCC invading the oral cavity. The first available appointment was January 17, 2023.
I was in the treatment room ready for the procedure when it was discovered that the doc's office had failed to send a script over to the pharmacy for meds needed to be taken 2 days before the procedure. The doc canceled the procedure. We rescheduled for first available slot: February 23, 2023.
Maybe a blessing in disguise … I have since discovered a painless lesion / lump under the tongue about the size of a grape. I have an ENT appt. for the end of the month.
My lip biopsy site — done Oct 6, 2022 — has not healed and is ulcerated. My lip is a mess. So, I have not had the vermilionectomy yet. The doc did tell me to expect a long healing period, but the laser procedure should take care of the problem. I do empathize with your fear and concern. The vermilionectomy is not something I'm looking forward to, but the alternative is even more frightening. I'll update you when I know more or complete the procedure.
Remember everyone is different. You may not need a biopsy or even the Vermilionectomy. Keep the faith, and please keep us updated on your results.
Sending blessings your way.