Today, there are multiple surgical techniques available for the removal of skin cancer. While determining which method is best for an individual patient is done on a case by case basis, we find that Mohs micrographic surgery is the treatment we turn to often. Mohs has become one of the most widely used surgical skin cancer treatments because it’s minimally invasive and has a high cure rate. If your skin cancer is aggressive or in a highly sensitive cosmetic area, you may be a candidate for Mohs.
Preparing for Mohs surgery
Little has to be done in preparation for your Mohs procedure. It is recommended that you try to get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy, balanced meal prior to coming to the office. If you are taking any medications, it’s important to discuss them with us during your initial consultation. Medications containing aspirin may be temporarily discontinued a week prior to surgery to prevent an increase in bleeding.
You should arrive at your appointment in comfortable clothing without any jewelry or make-up. We often recommend that our patients bring some type of reading material to help them pass the time and have a family member or friend take you to and from the surgery.
Mohs surgery and reconstruction
The procedure is performed with local anesthetic. Once the area is completely numb, the visible lesion is removed along with a thin layer of tissue around it. The area is covered and you will be left to wait while the doctor determines where cancer cells are present in the sample. This process is repeated until there no longer any traces of cancer.
Once there is no sign of cancer, our doctors will close the wound. Depending on the size, reconstruction of the area can be done with a flap or graft. You will be sent home with after-care instructions for helping the wound to heal properly.
Cure rates for Mohs tend to be higher than other forms of cancer treatment (somewhere between 98-99% for basal cell carcinomas and around 95% for primary squamous cell carcinomas). The surgery can be used for most types of skin cancers.