Mohs surgery has become the gold standard in the treatment of skin cancer
, with at least a 95 percent cure rate. This precision surgery is able to stop cancer in its tracks on the cellular level.
The surgery begins with the administration of anesthesia. A small section of skin is removed and examined under a microscope to look for the presence of melanoma. One advantage to Mohs surgery is that it is able to selectively target skin cancer only, leaving healthy tissue intact. After the tumor has been completely removed, the surgeon begins the reconstruction phase. Mohs surgeons typically have additional experience in reconstruction, involving graft repair and cutaneous flap techniques. Until the skin cancer is removed, it is not possible to know the exact size and full extent of the disease.
If you have undergone Mohs micrographic surgery, you will want to keep the treatment area fairly immobile and elevated to reduce any pain or swelling. The surgery site may be tender after anesthesia wears off. You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever or a prescription in some cases. Be sure to report any pain to your doctor
, since this could indicate an infection or blood clot. Your bandage should remain clean and dry and stay in place. You will be provided with detailed written instructions about wound care, which usually include instructions for site cleansing using water and soap.
You should plan to remain in town for about one week after your Mohs micrographic surgery. The reason is that there may be a complication. You should refrain from vigorous physical activity like strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking because it can slow the healing process. It is normal to be concerned about possible scarring, particularly in highly visible places. Scars often fade when the skin begins to heal.