Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) are the two most common forms of skin cancer. Mohs micrographic surgery is a micro-surgical technique that is very effective for removing these kinds of skin cancer. It is the most advanced treatment available for treating skin cancer.
The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove the cancer comprehensively while retaining as much of the healthy tissue around it as possible. Layers of skin are removed and examined under a microscope until all the cancer is gone. This reduces the need for further treatment or surgeries.
Are You a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for Mohs surgery has skin cancer that is either likely to return or has already returned since their last treatment.
When the cancer is in a part of their body where it is important to retain as much healthy tissue as possible, this technique is an excellent option.
When a patient’s cancer is exceptionally big or fast-growing and has uneven edges, they may be an ideal candidate for the procedure.
Mohs Surgery – The Procedure
Mohs surgery is performed under local anesthesia. The surgery is performed in an operating room or office with an adjoining/nearby lab. It usually lasts about four hours but may take longer.
The doctor or nurse will clean the area in preparation for surgery and use a special pen to outline it. They will inject this area with local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort in the patient.
The visible tumor is then surgically removed with a scalpel akin to a biopsy. A thin layer of tissue under this tumor will also be removed. A temporary bandage will be applied. The tissue will be taken to the lab for inspection under a microscope. If cancer is detected here, the surgeon will proceed to remove more layers until no more cancer can be seen.
Removing the tissue sections will take a short amount of time compared to the analysis, which may take up to an hour.
The patient will be left with a surgical wound after the Mohs Surgery. Your surgeon will decide on one of the following options to repair this wound:
• Stitching the wound shut
• Allowing the incision to self-heal
• Using a flap of skin from a different part of the body to cover the wound
• Using a graft of skin from a different part of the body to cover the wound
• Closing the wound temporarily and scheduling a future reconstructive surgery
A dressing will be applied to the wound after surgery to stem bleeding. Verbal and written care instructions will be provided. You will need to take some time off work and also avoid any form of exercise for a time.
Dr. Kriegel will want to check up on your wound and remove the sutures during a follow-up around a week after the surgery.
Arranging Your Consultation
Unlike traditional forms of surgery, Mohs surgery precisely removes cancerous tissue while making sure it doesn’t affect surrounding healthy tissue. To schedule a consultation with Dr. David Kriegel, an experienced and well-respected dermatologic surgeon, contact us today.