Mohs Surgery is a surgical technique for treatment of skin cancers. It is called Mohs surgery because it was developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs.
In this procedure, cancerous cells in the skin are removed progressively and examined till a healthy tissue is found. It is a very precise procedure and minimal damage is done to healthy tissues around the affected area.
Mohs Surgery is considered to be the most effective technique for treatment of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Since through this technique cancer free margins can be obtained, it is effective for treatment of recurrent skin cancers.
Mohs surgery is used for treatment of most of the skin cancers. It is specially recommended for
Treatment of tumors that are large, have irregular borders and cannot be cured by conventional techniques.
Body parts where preservation of healthy tissue is important for cosmetic reasons.
Recurrent skin cancer
Inform your doctor if you are taking any blood thinning medications as they may cause excessive bleeding during the surgery.
Wearing a loose clothing, especially for affected area, is recommended.
The surgery is performed under injected local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Mohs surgery generally lasts upto 4 to 6 hours, depending on how large the tumor is.
The surgeon will mark the area and sterilize it. One tissue layer is removed at a time using the scapel.
The tissue is stained and examined under a microscope to check for cancerous cells. Tissue layers are removed and examined till the time no cancer cells can be seen. Thus only those tissues which are cancerous are removed and the normal healthy tissue is spared. Generally stitches are used to close the wound.
Reconstructive repair of the wound may be required if the tumor was large and aggressive.
Follow up visit to check wound healing will be required. Recovery time will depend on size and site of the tumor removed.
Risk and Complication
There is risk of bleeding, wound infection, formation of blood clots, pain at the surgical site and scarring of the wound.
If nerve endings are cut during the procedure, there may be temporary or permanent numbness in the treated area.
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