Mohs Surgery is a procedure that offers a very high cure rate for patients suffering from several types of common skin cancers. It is also designed to limit the amount of healthy tissue and skin removed, which is especially beneficial to patients who must remove cancer in a cosmetically important part of the body such as the face or neck.
How Will the Surgeon Perform Mohs Surgery?
Mohs Surgery is an outpatient procedure usually performed in a doctor's office or clinic. After removing a layer of skin cancer, the patient may be advised to wait in the recovery or waiting room until the sample is examined. If cancer is no longer present, reconstructive surgery will be performed to repair the tissue. If cancer is still present, another layer will be removed and the procedure repeated until the cancer is completely removed.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
Because a general anesthetic is not used (a local anesthetic is used instead), recovery may not be as lengthy or complex as other surgeries. The extent of the recovery period depends on the extent of the surgery. In many cases, recovery may be between 2 to 4 weeks, although in some cases recovery may be a matter of several days.
What is Recovery Like?
Your stitches are usually removed about two weeks after surgery. Patients are usually encouraged to rest in the days following surgery. In most cases, patients do not report any pain. If pain is present, however, the doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol. Aspirin or medications containing aspirin may lead to increased bleeding, so always check with your doctor before taking any medication. In very rare cases, a prescription pain medication may be prescribed in cases of severe pain.
While most patients are able to return to work or other normal activities the same day or a day after surgery, they are encouraged to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting or exercise for one to three weeks depending on the extent of the surgery and location of surgery. In terms of sun exposure, no specific restrictions are encouraged after surgery.
However, sun exposure may cause skin cancer, so this is usually strongly discouraged. Patients should speak with their doctor about adequate protection from the sun including sunscreen and the proper clothing.
For more information about recovery after Mohs Surgery, patients should consult a licensed surgeon or physician. Patients are encouraged to follow their surgeon or physician's strict recovery guidelines to ensure proper and safe healing and recovery.