Understanding Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Posted on: Feb 15 2016
Mohs micrographic surgery uses a technique that was developed by Dr. F Mohs in the 1940s. It is one of the best and most successful ways to treat certain types of skin cancer. Keep reading to learn more.
What happens during the surgery?
This surgery is relatively simple and it is done under local anesthetic. It is usually an outpatient surgery, so people can leave the same day. This is a very precise method for treating cancer—the skin cancer is surgically removed and tissue is examined to identify any other cancerous tissue.
The recovery process will vary depending on the size of the skin cancer. Sometimes wounds are small enough to heal on their own while others require sutures, a skin graft, or reconstructive surgery. Your doctor will help you know what to expect. In most cases, pain following the treatment is mild and can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers.
What is it used for?
Mohs surgery is often used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas. It may be the best option in the following situations:
• A visual examination isn’t enough to determine the size of the cancer
• The skin cancer is in an area of the body that the patient wants to alter as little as possible
• Other treatment options have been unsuccessful
• Cancer has returned to an area of the body that had previously been treated
What are the benefits?
Benefits of Mohs surgery include:
• It is a very successful tool for treating cancer and preventing it from reoccurring
• It is a very precise type of surgery, so as little tissue as possible is removed—this makes it one of the more aesthetically pleasing options
• The surgery is relatively simple and is usually done on an outpatient basis
• Pain is quite manageable so most patients don’t have to worry about the side effects of taking more serious painkillers
• It can help to identify skin cancer that wasn’t identified in a visual examination
If you’d like to learn more about Mohs micrographic surgery and other skin cancer treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Behr today.