Skin cancer is treated with Mohs surgery by doctors. The goal is to get rid of a significant amount of it while preserving the surrounding good tissue. One layer of skin at a time is removed and observed under the microscope. This is done until the cancer has been completely eliminated. This lowers the likelihood of subsequent treatments including surgery.
Is Mohs Surgery Right for Me?
In the following cases, Mohs surgery is the right option:
-Following the last treatment, there is a possibility that the cancer may return or has already done so.
-The skin cancer is where keeping healthy tissue is critical.
-It’s very large or grows quickly.
-Its edges are crooked.
How is Mohs Surgery Performed?
Mohs surgery can be performed in a doctor’s office. In some cases, it is completed in an operating room with a lab nearby. As a result, the surgeon will be able to inspect the tissue more easily once it has been removed. The procedure normally takes approximately four hours, and you will be able to return home the very same day. However, it can go on for a long time, so plan to stay the entire day for the treatment.
A medical professional, such as a nurse or physician, will sanitize the area preceding your surgery. Afterwards, they will outline it with a special pen before injecting medicine into your skin. This is done to make sure you don’t feel any discomfort.
With a scalpel, the surgeon will extract the noticeable section of your cancer. A thin sheet of tissue beneath the apparent tumor will be removed, and a temporary bandage will be applied. After that, the material will be examined under the microscope in the lab. If cancer remains, additional layers will be excised one by one, until there is no more visible malignancy.
Although removing the skin takes only a few minutes, the examination can take considerably longer, possibly an hour. To keep busy, you might wish to bring a puzzle book, a snack, or a book.
Following the Procedure
After the surgeon has completely excised the cancerous tissue, they will explain to you the alternatives for healing the wound. They’ll choose one of the following options based on your situation:
-Close the wound with stitches.
-Allow the incision to heal on its own.
-To help conceal the wound, skin from a neighboring region of your body will be used.
-Seal the wound for the time being and schedule reconstruction surgery in the future.
You’ll probably go home once the skin cancer has been eliminated. Your surgeon will see that all cancer is gone. However, you may need to check in with the surgeon to ensure that your recovery is proceeding well.
After the treatment, you may experience soreness, swelling, redness, or bleeding. However, these side effects should fade quickly. Your doctor will explain the length of time you should clean the wound, in addition to, what medications you’ll need to use.
Having someone drive you home afterward is a smart idea. Driving oneself home will not be allowed, if you’re on prescription painkillers.
What are the Risks Involved?
Although Mohs surgery is typically quite safe, there are certain risks:
-Bleeding from the surgical area
-Bleeding, from the surrounding tissue, into the surgical site.
-Discomfort in the region where the skin was excised.
There are additional potential issues, though they are not likely to occur:
-You may have short or long-term numbness.
-If it was a huge tumor, and the surgeon removed it while cutting a muscular nerve, you may experience paralysis in that area of your body.
-It’s possible that you’ll experience itchiness or a piercing pain.
-It’s possible that you’ll get a thick, elevated scar.