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Top 5 Patient Questions about Mohs Surgery

Jul 19 2013

Mohs surgery is a popular and effective outpatient treatment option for patients with skin cancer. The surgery is unique in that it targets only cancerous tissue using microscopic examination of the affected area. This treatment is even useful in treating functionally and cosmetically prominent areas, including the genitals, nose, hands, feet, hairline, lips, and eyelids.

Like with any other surgery, patients typically have a lot of questions regarding the Mohs procedure and how it works. Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions about this treatment to find out more.

Top 5 Patient Questions about Mohs Surgery

  1. What is Mohs surgery? Mohs surgery is a procedure that effectively removes a tumor, while only mildly disturbing the surrounding tissue. It is the only skin cancer treatment, in fact, that targets only cancerous tissue using thorough microscopic examination of the affected area. The procedure not only removes the tumor, but also excises any roots that have gone beneath the surface of the skin.
  2. How is it performed? The affected area is first numbed with a local anesthetic, and then layers of skin are removed. The area is then closely observed to guarantee that the cancer has been completely eliminated. This procedure allows surrounding, noncancerous tissues to remain untouched while the affected area is completely eradicated.
  3. How long does it take? The length of the procedure varies between patients, as it is impossible to tell how much the cancer has grown prior to the treatment. Typically, the Mohs procedure takes three to four stages, which can usually be completed in under four hours. After the surgery, patients may feel some discomfort that can be treated with prescribed painkillers (which tend not to be necessary) or over the counter options like Tylenol.
  4. Is it safe? Mohs surgery is considered safe for most patients, but it has risks just like any other surgical procedure, which can include numbness, muscle weakness, tenderness, itching, pain, and skin graft failure. These risks are rare and are usually mild and temporary.  Risks are minimized if you go through an experienced professional, and if you closely follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions.
  5. Is it effective? The results of Mohs surgery are typically so thorough that it is often the go-to choice for patients with recurring skin cancer. For first-treatment cancer, it has shown five-year cure rates of up to 99%. For recurring cancers, it has demonstrated a five-year cure rate of up to 95%.

Mohs Surgery in Danville

Have any questions or concerns about Mohs surgery or other skin cancer treatments? Contact us today to find out more or to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Danville, and we can be reached at (925)272-2695. We look forward to hearing from you.

Category: General Dermatology

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