Mohs surgery is a type of skin cancer excision that lets your surgeon see where the cancer ends so they know exactly where to stop cutting tissue. At ERderm in Newport Beach, California, dermatologists Edward Rohaly, MD, and Samuel Peterson, MD, FACMS, FAAD, perform Mohs surgery to treat certain cases of basal and squamous cell cancer without removing too much surrounding skin or tissue. To find out if Mohs surgery is the next step in your skin cancer treatment, call ERderm, or request an appointment online today.
Mohs surgery is a form of surgical excision for skin cancer that happens in stages during a single office visit. It relies on the use of a microscope to detect the exact location of skin cancer cells that your surgeon needs to remove.
Throughout your visit, the team at ERderm removes very thin layers of your cancerous lesion one at a time. They view each layer under a microscope to locate the concentrated cancer cells, then use their findings for guidance in removing the next layer. They repeat this process until there are no more skin cancer cells left to remove.
Mohs surgery is unique because it preserves as much nearby skin and underlying tissue as possible. It also has a high cure rate for the types of skin cancer it treats and great aesthetic results because it doesn't require removing a margin of healthy skin like traditional excision.
Mohs surgery is a preferred treatment option for two types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. There are a few particular circumstances that can make you a great candidate for the surgery. The ERderm team might recommend Mohs for your squamous or basal cell cancer if:
If you’re not a candidate for Mohs surgery for any reason, such as if your skin cancer is melanoma, the ERderm team discusses other more appropriate treatment options with you and their benefits.
The aftercare you need following Mohs surgery depends on the size of the cancer and its location on your face or body. Very small wounds from Mohs surgery usually heal by themselves with little or no aid. However, your surgeon might decide to place some sutures to help it heal.
If the area affected by Mohs surgery is large enough, you might need a small skin graft to cover the wound or reconstructive surgery to restore the region’s original structure. You shouldn’t bleed very much in the days after your procedure, but if you do, you should contact ERderm for your next steps.
As you recover, you can manage any pain or discomfort with an over-the-counter pain medication containing acetaminophen. The ERderm team also prescribes antibiotics to prevent infections that can disrupt your healing.
Mohs surgery has a lot of benefits in its treatment of basal and squamous cell cancers. To find out if you’re a good candidate, call ERderm, or request an appointment online today.