What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a very innovative surgical treatment performed under local anesthesia. It is indicated to remove tumors that cause skin cancer, without damaging healthy tissue and obtaining a higher cure rate than traditional surgery.
Why is Mohs surgery performed?
This surgery is performed to remove skin cancer, preferably with these characteristics:
- As little tissue as possible is removed
- That the tumor is completely removed before sewing it up
- There is a scar or a previous radiation treatment has been done.
- Already treated and not completely removed or has returned
- Large or with unclear borders
- The patient’s immune system is not working well due to the cancer or treatments or medications he/she is undergoing
Mohs surgery is indicated for the removal of tumors that cause skin cancer without damaging healthy tissue.
What does Mohs surgery consist of?
Prior to the removal of the tumor, all the affected tissue is analyzed, including the bordering areas. This ensures the precise removal of the skin tumor, saving as much healthy tissue as possible and, therefore, minimizing the aesthetic reconstruction required after surgery. It is divided into several phases. In the first phase, the skin layer affected by the tumor is removed. Then a provisional wound dressing is performed, while the excised tissue and tissue samples from the tumor margin are examined to confirm that the tumor has been completely removed; this stage can last about 45 minutes. If the analysis detects that there are still cancerous cells remaining, the whole of the above process is repeated until complete removal of the tumor is achieved. Finally, the area affected by Mohs surgery is reconstructed with the most appropriate technique for each case.
Preparation for Mohs surgery
The measures taken before Mohs surgery are:
- Do not take certain medications such as anticoagulants.
- Do not smoke
- Bring a companion for after the intervention.
Care after surgery
After surgery, there are several options to properly care for the wound:
- Let it heal on its own (if it is small)
- Skin grafting (covering the wound with skin from another part of the body)
- Skin flaps (covering the wound with skin from the surrounding skin)