What to expect during Mohs surgery
Hearing a skin cancer diagnosis can be devastating for any patient. Your dermatologist will help you navigate all your options and may recommend Mohs surgery, which is a promising procedure with numerous benefits and excellent outcomes.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a technique used to treat many forms of skin cancer. During this procedure, thin layers of skin containing cancer cells are progressively removed and examined, until the remaining tissue is deemed cancer-free.
The Benefits of Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery delivers better results than standard surgery which removes your visible cancer with some surrounding healthy tissue. Mohs surgery aims to remove as much of the skin with cancer cells, while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue, leaving the smallest scar possible.
Mohs surgery boasts the highest cure rate for most skin cancers. It is effective in treating basal skin carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas that may be present on different parts of the body.
When is Mohs Surgery Indicated?
Your dermatologist may advise you to consider Mohs surgery if your cancer was previously treated and has returned, if it does not have defined edges, if it is near scar tissue or in a functionally or aesthetically sensitive area, or if it is growing rapidly or uncontrollably. You may also be a candidate if your skin cancer is an aggressive subtype, such as sclerosing or infiltrating basal cell carcinoma. Some surgeons use Mohs surgery or a Mohs-like procedure to treat specific cases of melanoma.
What Should I Expect?
Your outpatient procedure will take place under local anesthesia. Upon examining the tissue, your surgeon will determine if any cancer cells remain and if so, will know the exact area where they are. This enables precision in removing cancerous tissue, while sparing as much of your healthy tissue as possible. Your surgeon will repeat this process until no cancer cells remain.
In most cases, the surgery will take about two to four hours to complete depending on how many stages are required. After removing all of the cancer, the extent of the operation will determine wound care. You may need stitches, a skin flap or even a skin graft, or you may just need to let the wound heal on its own. You will need to follow up with your surgeon to make sure your wounds are healing well.
Talk to the Specialists
It is best to seek treatment by a surgeon who has achieved the highest level of specialization by completing a Mohs fellowship. Contact us today at Mira Vista Surgical Dermatology in the Fort Worth area to find out more about the Mohs surgery procedure. Our fellowship-trained physicians are committed to providing you with the highest level of care in a compassionate, friendly, and professional environment. We are here for you every step of the way!