What Happens During Mohs Surgery?
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Some people don't take skin cancer seriously because it's often easily treatable. However, untreated skin cancer is just as dangerous as other types of cancer because skin cancer can metastasize, which means it can spread to other parts of your body. If you're diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatologist will come up with a treatment plan to help you get well. Mohs surgery is likely to be part of this treatment plan. Here's what will happen when you undergo Mohs surgery.
1. You will have a consultation with your dermatologist, with the option to consult a plastic surgeon.
Your dermatologist will perform your Mohs surgery. Before the day of the surgery, they will discuss the goals and scope of the operation with you. During this appointment, your doctor will give you an idea of what you can expect. They will discuss the likely size of your postoperative wound. If you're having skin cancer removed from your face, you may wish to speak with a plastic surgeon as well. Plastic surgeons specialize in minimizing scarring. If your dermatologist expects some scarring to result from your surgery, a plastic surgeon can come up with a plan to minimize it.
2. You will undergo Mohs surgery in your dermatologist's office.
Most dermatological surgeries are performed in your dermatologist's office, and Mohs surgery is no exception. When you arrive, you will be instructed to remove any makeup. Your skin will be sterilized before the surgery begins. Your doctor will inject a local anesthetic into your face to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. Once your dermatologist is satisfied that you have achieved a sufficient state of numbness, they will begin the procedure. Your dermatologist will carefully cut away cancerous tissue until they have removed all of it and only healthy skin remains.
3. You will spend most of your time waiting.
Mohs surgery takes a few hours on average. However, most of this time will not be spent in active surgery. After your dermatologist removes tissue from your skin, they will send it to a lab for examination. It will take some time for lab technicians to analyze the tissue sample to ensure the edges are free from cancer. You will need to wait until the analysis is done because your dermatologist will need to remove more tissue if they didn't take enough the first time.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, contact a dermatologist.