Serving Philadelphia, the Main Line, King of Prussia, Wayne, PA, New Jersey and the neighboring tri state areas
Mohs surgery is a surgical procedure that treats skin cancer and removes the cancer-containing tissues. A Mohs surgery removes as much of the skin cancer as possible while keeping the damage to the surrounding healthy tissue to a minimal. Your surgeon can ensure that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of the procedure, which decreases the need for additional treatments.
Mohs surgery deals with skin cancers that are large or aggressive have reappeared from a previous procedure, that are located in facial areas you want to preserve healthy tissue, or have borders that are hard to define.
Each year, there are at least 500,000 new cases of skin cancer reported making it the most common form of cancer in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of all cancers appear on the face, head, or neck.
A Mohs surgery includes special dyes that allow your surgeon to remove the entire malignancy with a tumor map showing the sites of any residual cancer cells. The tissues with cancer cells seen under the microscope are removed. Your surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the visible portion of the cancer and a thin, underlying layer of tissue that is a bit larger than the visible tumor.
A temporary bandage is then placed on your incision. The tissue is sent to the laboratory for analysis, which can take an hour or more, resulting in some waiting time. During that time, your surgeon will cut the tissue sample into sections and examines them in a microscope. If there are any cancer cells that remain, you will continue with your Mohs surgery. At this point, your surgeon removes an additional layer of tissue from the affected area to take out the cancer tissue until there is no cancer tissue left.
You are a good candidate if you are in good physical health, a non-smoker and realistic about the risks and results of a Mohs surgery in Philadelphia and the Main Line. You may not be a good candidate for Mohs surgery if you have extreme anxiety or surgical phobia.
As with any surgical procedure, Mohs surgery carries some risks such as allergic reaction, bleeding, bruising, infection, itchiness, numbness, pain, scarring (keloid), skin discoloration and tenderness. You may experience shooting pain in the affected area. But overall, Mohs is a very safe and effective surgical treatment.
Any surgical procedure can leave some degree of visible scarring. A post-Mohs surgical scar will depend on several factors, including the size and location of the final defect and your individual skin characteristics. The Mohs procedure can result in a smaller, less noticeable scar than other skin cancer removal procedures. If possible, your surgeon will try to blend the suture into your natural skin lines and folds. Most scars fade naturally over time.
Your surgeon will give you various recommendations on how to best prepare for your surgery. This will likely include stopping to take most of your medications and supplements, especially blood-thinning medications. A Mohs surgery can take a long time depending on the cancer cells that are found during the actual procedure requiring more checking of the tissues.
Plan to take a full day off. You should plan on wearing comfortable clothes, preferably in layers, so you can make adjustments depending on the temperature of the room. And bring along your favorite book as there will be some waiting period.
You will likely feel some discomfort after your surgery. You may take acetaminophen or pain reliever over the counter for pain relief but avoid aspirin that can cause bleeding. Most patients return to work a day or two after the procedure. It is best to avoid heavy lifting or any strenuous exercise for one to three weeks depending on where the surgery took place. Ask your surgeon what is best for you. Make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside for at least six months after surgery to minimize scarring.
You may receive stitches to close the wound. They are usually removed a few days or within two weeks after your surgery. Sometimes, skin flap or graft may be used to cover the wound. You may have a follow-up visit with your surgeon to see how your recovery is progressing and ensure your wound is healing properly. There may also be follow-up exams to look for additional skin cancer. Although Mohs surgery has a high rate of success, there is always a small risk that cancer can recur. Once you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer again. You should plan on having skin exams at least once or twice a year.
There are many great benefits of getting a Mohs surgery in Philadelphia and the Main Line area:
The primary areas that can be treated by Mohs surgery include: