If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, it may be recommended that you undergo Mohs surgery. This precise surgical procedure is designed to remove as much of the cancerous growth as possible while minimizing damage to the surrounding skin and tissue.
Read on to learn more about what to expect when you or a loved one is scheduled for Mohs surgery.
During this procedure, the surgeon removes one thin layer of affected skin at a time. By examining each layer after removal before excising additional tissue, the surgeon will be able to work with the minimum amount of skin while still ensuring that all the cancerous cells are removed.
In most cases, this procedure also limits the need for future surgeries or treatments.
The Mohs surgery can be used to treat most types of skin cancer, including both basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, some kinds of melanoma and other, more rare forms of the disease.
However, it’s especially effective for types of skin cancers that have a high rate of recurrence; those with borders that are not clearly defined; particularly aggressive cancers; and those located on the face and other sensitive areas.
During the surgery, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The surgeon removes the visible part of the cancer and tests it while you wait.
This analysis helps determine where the cancer cells have spread and what part of the tissue needs to be removed.
The process will be repeated until the cancer has been completely excised. Because you’ll have to wait during the analysis, make sure to bring a book or something to pass the time.
While this procedure is safe, it carries similar risks to other types of surgery. In rare cases, patients who have had Mohs surgery may experience temporary itching at the site.
Before having your surgery, make sure the doctor is aware of any medications you already take. It may be recommended that you discontinue use before the surgery, particularly if you take blood thinners.
While the procedure is done on an inpatient basis, the length of time it will take can vary, so it’s important to be prepared for a full day at the surgical center. Typically, Mohs surgery takes about a few hours depending on the extent of the tumor.
Contact Doctor’s Approach today to make your appointment. We provide a variety of services to help patients with their skin care needs, and we welcome the opportunity to help you, too.