Mohs Surgery For Skin Cancer: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Posted on

If you've recently discovered you have skin cancer, your physician may have recommended the Mohs surgery. This type of surgery has only been around since the early 1900's, and it's become more prevalent over the past decade. It's often used on some of the most common types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma. Before undergoing this type of procedure, there are some significant things you should know about it, such as:

It's a Slow and Steady Process

Although Mohs surgery is quite effective, it's important to understand that it's a slow yet steady process that may take up to three hours or more depending on different factors, including the size of the tumor and the lab results that are provided. During this procedure, the surgeon removes some of the skin layer-by-layer. After removing the top layer of the skin, it's tested for cancerous cells, and the process continues until the layer of skin no longer contains cancerous cells.

The actual removal of skin isn't what takes so long. In fact, removing a layer of the skin could only take 10 minutes or less. The lengthiest part of this procedure involves testing the skin in the lab to get results. However, it's an important step that must be taken.

You Don't Have to Get Put to Sleep

During some surgeries, it may be necessary for you to be sedated. With the Mohs surgery, you don't have to get put to sleep. The surgeon may numb the area of the body where the layers of skin will be removed so that you don't have to experience much pain or discomfort at all.

The Surgery Does Leave a Scar

Like most surgeries, Mohs surgery will leave a scar. The goal of the surgery is to eliminate unhealthy skin while preserving as much of the skin as possible to reduce the level of scarring you're stuck dealing with. As long as the cancer is removed, you may not mind dealing with a scar because it will always remind you of the procedure that potentially saved your life. Most importantly, there are ways to reduce scarring after the surgery. There are various products on the market that help with the fading of unwanted scars. You may even want to use natural products on your scar to get it to fade, such as coconut oil and tea tree oil.

If you've been told you have skin cancer and your physician believes the Mohs surgery would be the best solution for you, it's important to know more about the procedure in advance. It's a procedure that may take a few hours, but you won't have to be sedated, and it's something that could save your life.