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What is Mohs micrographic surgery?
It is a specialized surgical treatment for skin cancer which can provide the highest cure rate while removing the least amount of surrounding healthy tissue.
What other services are provided by a Mohs surgeon?
Addtional services provided by a Mohs surgeon include, but are not limited to, excisional surgery, scar revisions, melanoma treatment, mole removal and laser therapy.
When is Mohs surgery used?
Mohs surgery is usually recommended for skin cancers that occur on sensitive areas of the body or that have a high likelihood of recurrence.
These include skin cancers that:
- Are located in cosmetically or functionally important areas such as around the face, scalp and neck. Mohs surgery can be used on other body areas for skin tumors that have a high risk of recurring.
- Have cells that grow rapidly or deeply.
- Have recurred after previous treatment.
What are the risks of Mohs surgery?
As with every surgery the risk of complications does exist. Complications associated with Mohs surgery are uncommon, but may occur. When they do occur, they include, but are not limited to:
- Bleeding-Excessive bleeding under a wound that has been sewn up (sutured) can delay healing.
- Infection- Rarely, wounds become infected and may require antibiotic treatment.
- Loss of nerve and muscle function- Uncommonly, the surgery may result in impaired nerve or muscle function. This is often temporary, but may be permanent.
- Poor healing- In some instances the wound created by the surgery may heal slowly or not as well as anticipated.
- Swelling- All surgery results in swelling that decreases gradually during healing.
- Scarring- All techniques to remove skin cancer can cause scarring. With Mohs surgery, the wound that is present after removal of the skin cancer is the smallest possible; this helps minimize scarring.