Mohs Surgery 101

Mohs surgery is a highly specialized invasive procedure that treats recurrent skin cancer. It involves the precise removal of cancerous tissue layer by layer. The surgery is popular for its high success rates and ability to minimize the amount of healthy tissue removed during the procedure, making it an excellent choice for treating skin cancer in sensitive areas such as your face. Your provider performs a comprehensive physical exam to ensure that Mohs surgery San Antonio is the most ideal option for your condition.

How to prepare for Mohs Surgery

When preparing for Mohs surgery, you must inform your doctor of any medications or supplements, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies. You may need to stop taking specific before surgery to reduce your risk of complications. It is crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions which may include refraining from eating or drinking for a certain period before surgery and avoiding smoking or alcohol consumption. On the day of treatment, wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing any jewelry or other accessories that may interfere with the procedure.

What to expect during the procedure

The Limmer Dermatology specialists often recommend Mohs for skin cancers with a high risk of recurrence or those in cosmetically sensitive areas like your face, neck, and hands. Before the surgery, you will receive local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. During the procedure, your surgeon may remove thin layers of tissue from the affected area and examines each layer under a microscope to check for cancer cells. The surgery can last for several hours, depending on the size and location of the area of treatment. Once the surgery is complete, the team will close the wound with stitches.

What to expect during recovery

You may experience discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the surgical site during the initial recovery period. Your provider may cover the treated area with a bandage or dressing, which you should change regularly. You may need to avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting during the initial recovery period and take pain medication or apply ice packs to manage discomfort. Following your doctor’s instructions carefully and attending any follow-up appointments are essential in ensuring proper healing and monitoring of the surgical site. In some cases, your Limmer Dermatology provider may recommend additional treatments, such as radiation therapy, to restore the appearance and function of the treated area.

Risks associated with Mohs Surgery

While Mohs surgery is generally a safe and effective treatment option, it carries some risks. One of the most common risks is bleeding, which can occur during or after the surgery. In some cases, you may need to have additional surgery to stop the bleeding. The surgery may also increase your risk of infection, as the wound created during the procedure can become infected if you don’t take good care of it. Depending on the location of the cancerous tissue, the surgery may involve cutting through nerves in your skin which can result in nerve damage. Additionally, Mohs surgery can leave some scars, particularly if the procedure is performed on your face or other highly visible areas. While you can minimize your risk of scarring with proper wound care, some scarring may be unavoidable depending on the size and location of the cancerous tissue.

For more information about Mohs surgery, call the Limmer Dermatology office or schedule an appointment online.