Mohs surgery is a highly effective way to remove skin cancer. It allows you to keep as much healthy tissue as possible and leaves the smallest possible scar.
The procedure begins by numbing the area with an injection of medicine (local anesthesia). Your doctor then removes a thin layer of skin and examines it microscopically while you wait. If cancer cells are found, more skin is removed and analyzed again.
How Mohs surgery works
Mohs surgery is an advanced outpatient procedure that removes cancerous tissue layer by layer and minimizes the loss of healthy skin. It is the gold standard for treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
To start, your doctor will numb your skin in the area where cancer is. Then, a technician will prepare slides of your tissue for your surgeon to examine under a microscope.
If the doctor finds cancer, they will take more tissue from the area to see if any new cancer cells are present. This process is repeated until all of the tumor’s edges are free of cancer.
Your doctor will numb the area with local anesthesia, so you should feel little or no pain during the procedure. You can usually go home the same day, although you may need to wear a bandage for a few days.
Preparation for the procedure
Mohs surgery is a specialized technique for removing skin cancer. It aims to remove all the cancer while preserving as much normal tissue around the area as possible.
The procedure involves local anesthesia, numbing of the area and removal of a thin layer of tissue surrounding the tumor. After this, your doctor examines the tumor and a border of tissue called “margins” to make sure there are no remaining cancer cells.
The surgeon then places the tissue on slides for microscopic examination and evaluation by a pathologist. If any of the margins show evidence of cancer, a second stage of Mohs micrographic surgery will be performed.
During the procedure
Mohs surgery is a procedure that removes cancerous cells from the skin. It also prevents the growth of new cancers.
It is the gold standard for treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It uses complete microscopic control to cut away the tumor in thin layers until no more cancerous tissue remains.
Your doctor may also use the procedure to treat early melanoma, which can be difficult to detect. In these cases, a modified version of the surgery called slow Mohs is used.
Once the visible cancer has been removed, your surgeon will take a sample of tissue from the wound to check it for any remaining cancerous cells. If it comes back clear, the site is deemed cancer free and the doctor can close the wound.
Mohs surgery on the face is a safe and effective way to remove skin cancer. It’s a precise procedure that cuts away tumors one layer at a time and examines each sample under a microscope for cancer cells.
When a tumor is removed in this manner, the chance of recurrence or spread is very small. However, patients should keep up with annual skin checks and a self-examination routine to help spot new cancerous growths early on.
While Mohs surgery can cure many types of skin cancer, it leaves a scar that needs care and attention to heal properly. It may take up to six months for scar tissue to fully heal.
Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for skin cancer. It is also relatively simple and requires very little healthy tissue damage.
Recovery from Mohs surgery is generally short and painless, but bruising and swelling of the affected area may be present. This is normal and should subside with time.
Your doctor will tell you how to take care of your wound after the procedure. You will likely be given a dressing to place over the wound, and you should leave it undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours, or as directed by your doctor.
Patients should also be aware that bleeding or oozing at the site of the incision may occur after Mohs surgery, but this should be minimal and stop on its own without medical intervention. If bleeding continues, call your doctor immediately.