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Mohs Procedure: A Skin Cancer Surgery Treatment that Works

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a middle-aged who underwent Mohs surgery on her face

Are you concerned about skin cancer and looking for a safe, effective treatment?

Mohs procedure is an advanced dermatology surgery that can help remove carcinoma from the skin. This minimally invasive technique has been used by medical professionals to treat different types of skin cancers on various parts of the body.

During this procedure, thin layers of tissue are removed one at a time until all signs of malignancy have been eliminated.

With its high success rate and minimal side effects, Mohs surgery is becoming increasingly popular as a method to combat certain forms of cancerous cells in the body with precision accuracy.

Find out what makes it so successful and how it works.

Mohs Procedure: What Is It?

Mohs procedure is an outpatient procedure that involves the removal of thin layers of tissue from the affected area until all cancerous cells are removed.

The procedure can be performed on any part of the body, including:

  1. Face,
  2. Scalp,
  3. Hands, and
  4. Feet.

The Mohs surgeon begins by numbing the area with local anesthesia and then removes a thin layer of tissue from around or within the tumor site.

This tissue is examined under a microscope for signs of remaining cancer cells. If any are found, another layer will be taken until no more remain in order to ensure complete removal of all malignant cells.

Mohs surgery has been proven to have high success rates when it comes to treating skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

It also offers cosmetic benefits since only minimal amounts of healthy tissue need to be removed during treatment which helps reduce scarring and minimize visible signs after healing has occurred.

The entire process typically takes between four and six hours depending on how many layers need to be removed before clear margins are achieved; however, some patients may require additional time if their tumors are larger or located in difficult-to-reach areas like behind ears or behind the nose.

Mohs surgeons may also use reconstructive techniques following surgery in order to improve appearance at sites where large amounts of skin were excised due to tumor size or location near sensitive areas like eyes or lips.

Is Mohs Surgery Really Necessary

Mohs surgery is often recommended for certain types of skin cancers because it offers several advantages over other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy.

For example, it has a higher cure rate than other treatments – up to 99% – which means that patients can feel confident they will be cured after undergoing this procedure.

Additionally, since only the affected area needs to be treated with Mohs surgery, there’s less risk of damaging healthy tissue around the tumor site compared to more invasive treatments like radiation or chemotherapy.

What Type of Skin Is Mohs Surgery Performed On

The procedure is most commonly performed on the face, neck, hands, and other areas where skin cancer has been detected.

The Mohs technique is especially useful in treating tumors located near delicate structures such as eyes or ears, since it enables surgeons to precisely remove only the necessary amount of tissue without damaging surrounding healthy tissues.

This procedure has the ability to identify and remove even small amounts of residual tumor cells that may not be visible with traditional methods.

Mohs surgery is a specialized procedure that can be used to treat skin cancers on any part of the body, from the face and scalp to the arms and legs.

In this section, we will explore how mohs surgery can be used to treat different types of skin cancer on various parts of the body.

Mohs Surgery on Different Body Parts

Mohs surgery on the face

This is one of the most common procedures performed by dermatologists as it allows for precise removal of any abnormal or pre-cancerous cells while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissues.

During this procedure, a local anesthetic will be applied before small sections are cut away from around a tumor or other suspicious lesion with a scalpel blade.

These sections are then examined under a microscope for evidence of malignant cells which may require further excision if present. Once all visible signs have been removed, stitches may be required in order to close up any remaining wounds left behind after Mohs surgery has been completed successfully.

Mohs scalp surgery

Another popular option when treating certain types of skin cancers located on the top or sides of the head region due to its ability to provide better access than traditional surgical methods such as cryosurgery or electrosurgery, which can cause significant scarring over time if not done properly.

In addition, Mohs scalp surgeries allow for greater accuracy since multiple levels can be taken during each session instead of just one at a time like with other treatments. This means less risk of potential complications such as infection spread throughout the entire area being treated.

Mohs surgeries are also commonly performed on the forehead, cheeks, and chin where there is a higher chance of developing melanomas or non-melanoma tumors due to the high amount of UV radiation they are exposed to regularly.

As mentioned above, the process remains the same regardless of which body part is involved but the overall goal remains the same: complete removal of all visible signs without damaging healthy nearby tissues for the best possible outcome in terms of patient's health and safety in mind.

Mohs surgery is an effective and precise procedure for treating skin cancer on different body parts, allowing doctors to remove the tumor while preserving healthy tissue. Now let's take a look at how mohs surgery can be used to treat different types of carcinoma.

Mohs surgery on the hands

Mohs surgery on the hands is particularly useful because it allows doctors to remove skin cancer while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. This reduces the risk of scarring and other complications which are common, and include infections, impaired wound healing, and bleeding.

Mohs Surgery for Different Types of Carcinoma

The procedure is most commonly used for melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and Mohs surgery has been proven to be an effective way to eliminate it from the body. The American Cancer Society estimates that 97,610 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2023.

During this procedure, thin layers of tissue are removed one at a time until all visible signs of the tumor have been eliminated. This allows for precise removal with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are among the most common forms of skin cancer and can often be treated with Mohs surgery as well. BCCs tend to grow slowly but if left untreated they can spread into deeper layers of skin or even underlying bone or muscle tissue. 

Mohs surgery has a 98% cure rate for basal cell carcinomas, compared to the standard excision method which has a 93-95% cure rate. With Mohs surgery, these tumors can be completely removed without causing significant scarring or other side effects in many cases.

Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are another common form of skin cancer that may require treatment with Mohs surgery depending on its size and location on the body.

SCCs typically appear as scaly patches on sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, arms, hands, legs or scalp but they can also occur elsewhere on the body too so it is important to get any suspicious spots checked out by your dermatologist right away just in case it turns out to be something more serious like an SCC which could then potentially require treatment with Mohs Surgery if necessary.

Finally, there are some rarer forms of skin cancers such as Merkel Cell Carcinomas which may also need treatment via Mohs Surgery due to their aggressive nature when left untreated. This will depend upon where exactly it is located on your body and how large/deeply rooted it has become over time, so always seek professional medical advice from your doctor first before making any decisions about what course(s) of action you should take next.

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take

The length of time it takes for Mohs surgery depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor, as well as how many layers need to be removed.

On average, Mohs surgery takes less than four hours.

However, some cases may require more or less time depending on the complexity of the procedure.

For example, if there are multiple tumors in different locations that need to be treated at once, then it could take longer than usual for each one to be addressed individually.

Additionally, if a larger area needs to be treated or there are other complicating factors such as scarring or infection present in the area being operated on then this can also add extra time onto your procedure duration. Studies estimate that 7-15% of patients undergoing major surgery will experience a postoperative complication.

Now let's explore the potential side effects associated with Mohs surgery.

Side Effects of Mohs Surgery

While it is an effective and often preferred method for treating certain types of skin cancers, there can be side effects associated with this procedure.

It’s important to understand these potential side effects before undergoing Mohs surgery so you can make an informed decision about your care.

Pain: The most common side effect associated with Mohs surgery is pain at the site where the tumor was removed. According to one study, 54% of patients who underwent Mohs surgery reported pain afterwards.

This pain may range from mild discomfort to severe throbbing or burning sensations depending on how deep the tissue was cut during the procedure. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication to help manage any postoperative pain you experience after your procedure.

Scarring: After having a tumor removed via Mohs surgery, some patients may develop scarring in the area where their skin was cut away. The median postoperative scar length for patients who have had Mohs surgery is 47 mm.

Depending on how large and deep the wound was, scarring could be minimal or more pronounced and noticeable over time as it heals and fades into a lighter color than surrounding healthy tissue.

If necessary, scar revision treatments such as laser resurfacing or dermabrasion can help reduce its appearance once healing has taken place completely following your procedure.

Numbness/Tingling: Some patients who have undergone Mohs surgery report feeling numbness or tingling in their face due to nerve damage caused by cutting through sensitive tissues near nerves during their operation.

Numbness is a common complaint of patients following Mohs surgery, and generally the numbness goes away for most patients but it can take up to one year.

Mohs Procedure: FAQs

Is Mohs procedure serious?

Yes, Mohs surgery is a serious procedure. It involves removing thin layers of skin one at a time and examining them under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

The process can be lengthy and requires precise technique in order to ensure that all the cancerous tissue has been removed while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

In some cases, reconstructive surgery may also be necessary after the Mohs procedure is complete. While it can be an effective treatment for certain types of skin cancers, it should only be performed by an experienced dermatologist or surgeon who specializes in this type of procedure.

What type of cancer is Mohs surgery used for?

Mohs surgery is a specialized type of skin cancer treatment used to remove certain types of skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The procedure is highly effective in treating these types of skin cancers, with cure rates up to 99%. Mohs surgery also helps preserve more healthy tissue than other treatments, making it an ideal option for those with large or difficult-to-treat tumors.

How long does it take to heal from Mohs surgery?

The process can take several hours, depending on the size and complexity of the lesion being treated. After Mohs surgery, it typically takes 7-10 days for wounds to heal completely.

During this time, patients should keep their wound clean and dry and follow any instructions given by their doctor regarding care or medications. Additionally, they may need to wear a bandage or protective covering over the wound until it has healed fully.

How painful is Mohs?

Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for skin cancer, but it can be painful. The procedure involves removing thin layers of tissue from the affected area and examining them under a microscope to check for any remaining cancer cells.

Although there is some discomfort associated with this process, most patients report that the pain is minimal and manageable. Additionally, local anesthesia can be used to reduce any discomfort during the procedure. Ultimately, Mohs surgery may cause some mild discomfort in certain cases, but it should not be considered overly painful or unbearable.

Dermatology & Skin Health: Experts at Mohs Surgery

Dr. Mendese and his team of dermatologists at Dermatology and Skin Health

At Dermatology & Skin Health, we understand that feeling confident in your own skin is essential. That’s why we offer Mohs procedure – a minimally invasive treatment for certain types of skin cancer.

Our highly trained and experienced team provides the highest quality care to ensure you have the best outcome possible with minimal downtime and scarring. Call us today to learn more about how our services can help give you back your confidence!

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