What Is Mohs Surgery?
Skin cancer is one of the most common variations of cancer in the world. Mohs surgery is a medical procedure used to treat skin cancer. During the surgery, surgeons cut away thin layers of skin until there are no signs of cancer. The purpose of Mohs surgery is to extract all of the skin cancer without harming the healthy skin around it. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and you are considering Mohs surgery, here are some things you may want to consider.
When Is Mohs Surgery Most Useful?
Mohs surgery is used to treat various common forms of skin cancer including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs surgery is most useful in treating skin cancers that:
- Have a high probability of coming back, or that already returned after previous treatment
- Are in areas where you want to keep as much healthy tissue as possible, such as the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, and genitals
- Have edges that are hard to define
- Are large or grow quickly
How Can Someone Prepare For Mohs Surgery?
If you have Mohs surgery scheduled, your surgeon may ask you to do the following:
- Stop taking certain medicines. Consult your doctor when it comes to what medications you are taking, especially blood thinners. Continue taking any prescribed medicine unless your surgeon tells you otherwise.
- Clear your schedule for the day. Mohs surgery varies in time depending on the severity of the skin cancer and its location. The procedure takes less than four hours for most patients.
- Eat before surgery. Unless a member of your healthcare team tells you otherwise, you can eat your regular meals.
- Make yourself comfortable. If you have your surgery scheduled for later in the day and are anticipating a waiting period, you may want to bring multiple layers of clothes for the surgery room and activities that will help you remain calm, like listening to music or reading.
What Can Someone Expect Following Their Mohs Surgery?
After the skin cancer has been removed and the surgeons finish up the procedure, the healing process begins. Most wounds are repaired at the end of the procedure. If the wound is complex, the surgeon may temporarily close the wound and another operation might be needed to repair the wound completely. You may have some mild pain and soreness after your surgery. Over-the-counter pain medicines can help. If you have any questions about which to buy, be sure to consult your doctor. If you have severe pain and pain relievers do not help, contact your doctor. Expect to use a bandage over the wound for at least a week. Your provider will give you instructions on how to take care of the wound to avoid infections.
What Is Skin Cancer Reconstruction?
If you have had Mohs surgery for skin cancer, you may need reconstruction to address any scars on your face, head, or neck. Anne Arundel ENT in Maryland has a group of surgeons trained to perform this procedure. They specialize in the delicate surgery necessary to camouflage scarring so that you can feel your best again. With over 25 years of experience, and locations in both Annapolis and Severna Park to serve clients, Anne Arundel ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery is ready to serve your needs for an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) and offers facial plastic surgery and Medispa services as well. Call us today at 410-573-9191 for a consultation.