Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Pyogenic Granuloma in pregnancy

I was on day two of a 5 week hand over to my maternity cover at work, and we were on a conference call to a third party supplier, when all of a sudden my lip started bleeding uncontrollably and inexplicably. I don't think I'd bitten it and it hadn't been sore, and it wasn't currently hurting, but the blood just wouldn't stop! I had to run to the loo and hold my head over the sink and I got blood all over the floor trying to get tissue even though I was trying to catch the blood in my hand for the metre between the sink and a loo roll dispenser. The blood didn't stop coming for about 10 minutes and it left me feeling a bit shocked at the sheer volume.

In the following days, I felt a tiny lump emerged and it just looked like a spot. Admittedly I squeezed it a couple of times and it then began looking more like a blood blister. I had a couple more bleeds from it when I'd been antagonising it a little but nothing compared to that first bleed. After about a week, it had become a full on 'growth' and as I was going to the doctor about a few things anyway, I mentioned it to him. He said it looked like a 'pyogenic granuloma' and that they sometimes occur during pregnancy but it would most likely go away once I'd given birth and that treatment such as cauterising or removal wasn't recommended at this point in pregnancy. Great, I thought, I'd have to live with a hideous lump on my lip for another 7 weeks. Little did I know that the lump would get much bigger and uglier over the next few months! I tried a course of antibiotics although the doctor wasn't convinced they'd do anything; it sounds silly but it was beginning to get me down and was affecting my confidence as when I spoke I could see that people were focussing on it.

I developed a cold a week or two later and it felt as though it was drying out and shrinking; every day a scab layer would form and when I showered or washed my face and brushed my teeth, the scab layer would come away leaving a smaller lump. But when my cold disappeared, the lump came back in full force.
I haven't put filters on these, just bad lighting!
The lump itself wasn't painful, but as it was in an awkward place, I'd sometimes catch it when eating or talking which was a bit painful and would sometimes make it bleed. It took a few different forms during the time I had it, from scabby and grainy to shiny and smooth.
Top two, during pregnancy. Bottom two, post pregnancy.
 I went back to my GP a week before I was due to give birth as we were becoming concerned that it may be more sinister. I'd forgotten the name that the initial GP who saw it had diagnosed it as, so I'd been googling all sorts. She wrote down the name of it for me, which put my mind at ease as the Google results for Pyogenic Granuloma aren't too scary, and she referred me to Maxillo Facial. I had to wait a month for the appointment, which gave the lump time to disappear on its own post pregnancy, but equally if it hadn't gone, I could have it treated.

At the appointment we decided to treat it with Silver Nitrate initially, but if after three weeks it hadn't made any impact or it had got worse then it was agreed I could have it removed. The Silver Nitrate didn't make any difference so I called them after a week to see if I could have my follow up appointment brought forward. They were able to slot me in a week later and I had a local anaesthetic there and then and it was cut out. I had two stitches and within one week it was healed and in about 10 days the stitches, although dissolvable, fell out (with a bit of help from me as I could tell it was all healed and they were no longer needed).
Left; application of silver nitrate. Middle; back in full force. Right; two stitches and swelling post-removal.
My lip is now totally fine, there is only a very slight scar but it's not at all noticable to anyone who wouldn't know to look there, or look very closely. I can feel a slight lump, which I think is just scar tissue rather than re-occurance, which is one of the risks that comes with removal. The consultant sent the lump to be analysed to confirm that it was indeed what he suspected, but it's been over a month since my appointment and I've not heard anything back so I'm assuming all is well.
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  1. I just had mine surgically removed from my lower lip on Thursday, two of my stitches already came out and it looks mostly healed. On the top stitch there's some yellow coloring around it and I'm praying its not a re-occurance. I'm not pregnant but mine came from my lip being dry and cracking a bit. They are so embarrassing!

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x

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