Find out how this surgical procedure could remove skin cancer for good.
According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, about one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their life. While skin cancer might not get the same media attention as other forms of cancer, skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in America. If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, your Edina dermatologist might recommend Mohs surgery to treat your condition. Find out more about Mohs surgery, and how it just might save your life!
About is Mohs surgery?
The main goal of Mohs surgery is to target and remove as much skin cancer as possible while reducing the amount of damage caused to nearby healthy skin. Your Edina dermatologist might recommend getting Mohs surgery if you are dealing with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or other forms of melanoma. Mohs surgery is often the best course of action against skin cancer that is more likely to return even after treatment. It is also the most powerful option for cancer which is aggressive, large, or in places where it’s important to save as much healthy tissue as possible (e.g. eyes; mouth).
What should I expect during my Mohs surgery?
This surgery is performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home immediately afterward. The procedure usually takes up to four hours depending on how large the skin cancer is and where it is located. Your Edina dermatologist will inject the area to be treated with a local anesthetic to reduce the chances of you experiencing any procedural discomfort.
Once the area is completely numb, we will use a scalpel to carefully remove the cancer, along with a small portion of neighboring healthy tissue. After the cancer has been removed, we will place a bandage over the wound.
This tissue sample we have taken is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. This usually takes about an hour. Expect to wait for a while we examine the cancer. If there is any cancer still there after the first removal, we will need to go back and remove another layer of cancerous tissue. We will then send this sample to the lab for further examination. This same process will be repeated until all the cancer has been removed.
Depending on how deep the incision is, you may opt to let it heal on its own or we may need to close it up with stitches. If the cancer is large enough, skin grafting and other reconstructive techniques may be necessary.
What makes Mohs surgery a great treatment option is that you are able to get your results right away. While you will still need to come back for follow-ups, simply pjut, Mohs is one of the best ways to treat skin cancer.
If you notice a suspect growth or a changing mole, then it’s time to come in for a checkup. Contact your Edina dermatologist at Academic Dermatology to schedule an appointment right now.