More Mohs Please: the 411 on Mohs Surgery
March 15, 2015
If you suffer from any type of skin cancer, you are probably looking for ways to beat your cancer. And Mohs is probably your best answer. Mohs surgery has a cure rate of well over 90% for the most common skin cancers. Even for the deadly melanoma, the cure rate is over 50%. But not only does Mohs have a high success rate, it also disturbs very little of the undamaged, surrounding skin.
How Does It Work?
The cancerous area is numbed through local anesthesia. Then skin layers are removed very carefully. These layers are very small are are removed with extreme precision. Immediately after the skin is removed, it is examined under a microscope. The goal is to eventually get to a piece of skin that does not have any traces of cancer, as this means the cancer is completely removed.
Because this surgery is so precision-oriented and focused on removing cancer and only cancer, the normal skin around the cancerous area is most often well preserved. The technique of slowly removing each level of cancer ensures that all the cancer is removed without removing entire chunks of healthy skin. In fact, 100% of tumor margins are examined, making sure that no cancer is left behind. After all, what is the point of doing a surgery if it is not going to work?
One of the downsides of Mohs is that it is completely unpredictable as to how long it will take. It usually takes several hours and is almost always done as an outpatient procedure. However, if your cancer is very big or difficult, it could take a very long time. As a result, practice your patience and make sure your entire day is free.
Recovery from Mohs
Recovery after the surgery is very simple. Obviously the size of your wound will vary depending on how many levels of skin had to be removed, but it is usually very easy to suture with stitches. If the wound is very small, sometimes it heals best just being left alone. Other options include skin grafts or bandages. Because your skin has literally been cut into, there will be some scarring.