Mohs surgery is a specialized procedure used to treat skin cancer on the scalp.
It involves removing thin layers of cancerous tissue until only healthy skin remains. The technique reduces recurrence and maximizes cosmetic results, often leaving little more than a small scar as evidence of the surgery.
In this article, we'll cover key questions regarding hair growth after Mohs scalp surgery.
Mohs surgery is a specialized type of skin cancer treatment used to remove and treat early-stage non-melanoma skin cancer. It’s also known as “skin cancer surgery” or “Mohs technique.”
The goal of this type of procedure is to remove all of the visible signs of skin cancer while strictly avoiding damage to any healthy surrounding tissue.
The patient being treated receives a series of thin, local anesthetics on the area. During the surgery, a circular incision is made so that several layers, or levels, of tumor can be cut out in successive stages and examined under a microscope immediately after they are removed.
If any remaining tissue still contains cancerous cells, additional layers will be checked until no more cancer cells are detected.
Since it allows for minimal tissue removal and provides good preservation of the edges intact (such as around eyes or nose), facial Mohs surgery is especially useful when treating the face and scalp areas where complex movement occurs and where aesthetics play such a major role in restoring important features (brows, lips, eyelids).
It can also help reduce legal risk due to aggressive treatments that could potentially lead to significant cosmetic deformities or other somatic side effects.
This rigorous cancer treatment makes sure that no tumor stays behind—something offered by few types of surgical care—and provides an excellent cure rate: 95-99 percent success rate depending on location and size of tumors on scalp and face.
The results are usually permanent with very little chance for recurrence several years after treatment if proper follow up precautionary measures are taken by patients.
Unlike other forms of skin cancer removal, Mohs micrographic surgery offers an additional form of analysis – immediate microscopic examination of the tissue – to ensure that no cancerous cells remain in the area after it has been excised.
Here’s how this process works:
Local anesthetic is injected along with a numbing agent to minimize any pain or discomfort. The surgeon typically begins by marking off the boundary between healthy skin and affected tissue with ink before or prior to the beginning of tissue removal.
A thin layer of tissue is removed from the affected area and examined immediately under a microscope by either a pathologist or dermatologist to determine if any cancerous cells remain in place. This process is repeated until no further signs of cancer are observed.
Once complete, the scalp is reconstructed with stitches, sealants, or synthetic materials such as Dermabond glue to close off incisions and reduce scarring.
Depending on size and depth, additional reconstruction may be necessary using more traditional plastic surgery techniques if extensive sections of tissue are removed during treatment (e.g., flaps).
One of the most common questions surrounding Mohs Surgery for the scalp is whether or not hair will grow back afterwards.
While it's common to grow back after the surgery has healed, note that this is not always the case.
Some factors affect if you can grow hair back in the area where you had surgery, how much and how quickly your hair will grow back.
One main factor that could affect your ability for hair to regrow after a Mohs Surgery is damage done to the follicles where hair grows from.
If these follicles were damaged during surgery, then they may not be able to produce new hairs and so your scalp may be permanently bald in those areas as well.
Another is the size of the area that was treated during Mohs Surgery.
If a larger area of skin was removed during the procedure, it will likely take longer for hair to regrow in that area.
How deep into the skin affected by Mohs Surgery was affected also affects how long it will take before hair begins to regrow in that spot.
If your scalp was damaged too deeply, it could cause permanent baldness in that area and it won't regrow hair at all.
The good news is that in most cases your scalp should recover from a Mohs Surgery within 1-3 months and you should be able to start noticing regrowth of new hairs shortly thereafter.
In any case though it's best to speak with a doctor after the surgery has taken place about if any special care needs to be taken when caring for your head and scalp immediately following surgery as well as what you can do to ensure optimal chances of healing and successful new hair growth in areas affected by Mohs surgery on your scalp.
No - Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss on the body, including the scalp.
While losing hair after scalp Mohs surgery can be quite noticeable and distressing, this kind of hair loss tends to eventually resolve in most cases when given enough time and proper self-care measures post-surgery such as avoiding sun exposure and using moisturizing products regularly.
Here are some of the factors that can influence the regrowth of your hair:
Genetics – Your individual genetic makeup will play a role in how much, and how quickly, your hair grows back.
Hormonal Changes – Changes in hormones can cause increased shedding or thinning of the hair. A doctor may be able to provide treatments if necessary.
Nutritional Deficiencies – Not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals can affect both existing and new hair growth. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet for optimal results.
Medications – Certain medications may cause unwanted side effects such as alopecia (hair loss). Be sure to consult with your doctor about any possible risks before starting any new medicine.
Stress and Anxiety– Stress can have many negative consequences on our health; this includes impacting the rate at which our tresses grow back. Be sure to practice relaxation methods regularly.
Other Diseases or Conditions - More serious underlying health conditions could adversely affect regrowth. If you suspect a problem beyond simple stress or hormonal changes, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional right away.
Taking these few simple steps towards understanding what affects your hair regrowth, as well as making lifestyle modifications when appropriate, might help improve the rate at which you experience new growth.
If you have undergone a Mohs procedure, you may be wondering what to do about the bald spots on your scalp.
Mohs surgery is used to treat skin cancer and can leave behind an unsightly area of baldness.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help manage this baldness and make the area look more natural:
Most people achieve 50% regrowth in 3-9 months. Many companies offer high-quality options that look natural enough not to draw attention away from other facial features (e.g., eyebrows).
Natural looking wig choices range from clip-on pieces to full and partial head coverings made from human hair, warm synthetic fiber blends, cooling rayon/acetate blend fibers and “cool caps” which combine real hair at front with thinned fibers along back and sides where thinning has taken place due to surgery trauma.
At Dermatology and Skin Care Clinic, our experienced team specializes in Mohs surgery for scalp treatment.
We provide advanced techniques to ensure the highest quality and best possible outcome for our patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you achieve your desired results.
If your desired appointment type or preferred provider is unavailable online, kindly call (978) 525-0100 for Peabody, MA and (603) 742-5556 for all New Hampshire locations. Alternatively please feel free to send us your request via the patient portal, or via email at email@example.com
*For medical dermatology appointments in MA please dial (978) 525-0100 or fill out the appointment request form above.