What To Expect When Having A Mohs Surgical Procedure

Mohs surgery is a very precise surgical technique in which skin cancer can be removed. This procedure is commonly performed in the physician's office and does not require the patient to remain in the hospital afterwards. It can be performed on a small area of the skin to remove a small cancerous tumor. The Mohs surgery has been an excellent option for many people to become completely cancer free without the need for chemotherapy or radiation treatments. This is what one can usually expect when having a Mohs surgical procedure performed.

Before The Surgery 

When you meet with the surgeon for your surgery consultation, you may be given certain instructions on how to prepare for surgery. This may include to stop taking certain medications temporarily a few days before surgery, not eating, drinking or smoking several hours before surgery and keeping a full day open in your schedule for surgery in case it takes longer or the surgeon gets an emergency surgery he has to perform first.

During The Surgery 

This procedure is normally performed as an outpatient service in an on-site surgical suite, such as at Dermatology Surgery Center. You will first be injected  with a local anesthetic near the area of skin cancer that will be removed. This medication keeps the area numb so that no pain is felt during the surgery.

Then, the surgeon uses special surgical tools to remove the cancerous tumor and some of the tissue surrounding it. This is then examined under a microscope to see if any of the surrounding tissues are cancer free. If cancer is visible on the tissues, the surgical procedure will be repeated until the tissues that are removed no longer show cancer remains.

After The Surgery 

The time it takes for the incision to heal depends greatly on how much skin had to be removed. If it is only a small amount, the incision may be sutured and once it has healed there may be little to no scarring. However, if skin reconstruction must be done to repair noticeable damage, this is normally done directly after the initial surgery.

This type of skin cancer surgery is most suitable for those who have only a small area of skin cancer that must be removed. It is most commonly performed on those who have been diagnosed with certain types of skin cancer, such as Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma. If the area of skin cancer is large, the patient may need to be treated with chemotherapy and radiation before the cancer is removed to kill the surrounding cancerous skin cell tissues and prevent it from spreading during surgery.