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Mohs Surgery For Skin Cancer Treatment

Mohs Surgery For Skin Cancer Treatment

Mohs Surgery

Over the years, doctors and medical professionals have rapidly honed their techniques for removing tumors. As a result, Mohs surgery has become the gold standard for removing two of the most common forms of skin cancer while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible, including tissue in more sensitive areas. Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery offers personalized treatments for a wide range of skin conditions, including melanoma, among other types of skin cancer, and our Gainesville dermatologists are trained to perform Mohs surgery.

Contact our dermatologists in Gainesville today to schedule a dermatologist appointment for skin cancer screenings and to learn more about our available skin care treatments.

Why It's Done

Mohs surgery is used to remove many common skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, along with other kinds of melanoma or unusual skin cancers. If your skin cancer has one of the following attributes, Mohs surgery is an effective and efficient remedy.

  • There Is A High Risk Of Recurrence, Or It Has Recurred After Previous Treatment
  • They Are Located Where You Want To Preserve Healthy Tissue
  • They Have Borders That Are Hard To Define
  • They Are Large & Aggressive

How Do I Prepare For Mohs Surgery?

In order for you to be comfortable and happy with the outcome of your Mohs surgery, it is important to answer all questions about your medical history, such as any allergies you have or medications that you are taking, which includes over the counter drugs, prescription medications, herbal treatments, and vitamins. We also recommend quitting smoking as soon as possible as smoking can lead to poor wound healing.

What Happens During Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is performed in stages, which take place all in one visit. For the first stage, you will be injected with a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or epinephrine. A surgeon will then use a scalpel to remove a thin layer of any visible cancerous tissue, which can often have roots or extensions that aren't visible from the surface.

After removing this top layer, the sample will be carefully examined with a microscope to determine whether any areas have any remaining cancer. This process can last between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. While the sample is being examined, the patient will wait for the surgeon to return.

If there is any cancer left, the surgeon will remove more layers of tissue one by one until only healthy tissue remains. Once the site is cleared of all the cancer cells, the wound may be left open or stitched up. The only thing left would be to carefully follow your doctor's instructions for wound care, scar care, and follow-up to achieve the best outcome.

Is Mohs Right For Me?

When it comes to treating basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, Mohs surgery has one of the cure rates for skin cancers, 99% for untreated skin cancer and 94% for recurring episodes. In addition, this type of surgery is ideal for removing these cancer cells for areas around the eyes, nose, lips, ears, scalp, fingers, toes, or genitals, as well as for cancer cells that are large, aggressive, rapidly growing, or have recurred following previous treatments.

What Are The Risks & Potential Complications

Though complications after Mohs surgery are not common, post-surgery issues can occur. Below, our Gainesville dermatologists have outlined some risks and potential complications of Mohs surgery.

  • Anesthesia Reaction, Such As An Allergic Reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Numbness & Nerve Damage
  • Pain & Tenderness
  • Poor Wound Healing
  • Scarring

Reducing Your Risk Of Complications

While the complications listed above aren't common, some can be serious and require medical treatment. You can reduce the risk of these complications by following the treatment plan put in place by your surgeon and by following the list below.

  • Following Any Activity, Dietary, & Lifestyle Restrictions Before & After Surgery
  • Contacting Your Doctor Immediately If You Are Experiencing Bleeding, Fever, Increase In Pain, Or Wound Redness, Swelling, Or Drainage
  • Avoiding Smoking
  • Taking Your Medications As Prescribed
  • Informing Your Care Team Of Any Allergies, Especially To Any Medications

What Can I Expect After My Mohs Surgery?

How Will I Feel After Mohs Surgery?

After your Mohs surgery, you may experience swelling, bruising, and minor pain around the removal site. To help this, your doctor or surgeon may recommend using ice packs to help with the swelling or taking over-the-counter pain medicines. Contact your doctor if you are having pain that isn't responding to the over-the-counter medication.

When Can I Go Home?

One of the best parts of Mohs surgery is that it all takes place in one visit, meaning that you should be able to go home right after your Mohs surgery. However, your doctor may recommend avoiding any strenuous activity or exercise.

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Following Mohs surgery, it is important to keep and attend your follow-up appointments, but in between those, reach out to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the following.

  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Pain That Is Not Controlled By Your Pain Medication
  • Unexpected Drainage, Pus, Redness, Or Swelling Of Your Incision