What to Expect After Mohs Surgery

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer than any other cancer. Two of the most common skin cancers are squamous cell cancer and basal cell carcinoma. Fortunately, these cancers are usually curable if detected early. 

One of the best ways to treat these cancers is with Mohs surgery. At Seacoast Dermatology LLC, James G. Dinulos, MD, is an expert in performing Mohs surgery. Along with dermatologist Andrew E. Werchniak, MD, you have a great team on your side if you have skin cancer. If you’re planning to get the procedure done, here’s what you can expect.

Benefits of Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery can eliminate cancerous cells while preserving healthy skin tissue. This can help prevent future treatments and stop cancer from returning. 

If your skin cancer has unclear borders or is spreading quickly, Mohs surgery is often the best way to get rid of it. This type of treatment for skin cancer has a high success rate and is also cost-effective. 

How Mohs surgery is performed

Mohs surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, and it normally lasts a few hours. On the day of your surgery, you may be asked to change into a gown depending on where the mole is located. Dr. Dinulos and his clinical team will clean the area being treated and administer a local anesthetic so you can feel comfortable during your surgery. 

Then, he will use a scalpel to carefully remove the mole along with a thin layer of skin underneath it. Then, he will cover the area with a bandage and take the skin sample to a lab for analysis. 

If the skin sample shows that the cancer is still present, he will remove another thin layer of skin. He will repeat the process until the analysis shows that the skin is cancer-free. By using this method instead of removing a large amount of tissue at once, he can preserve as much healthy skin as possible.

Process of healing

Once he finds that there is no more cancer in the area, he will decide on how to mend the wound. This can be done in one of three ways: 

After your surgery, you’ll go home with wound care instructions to help your surgical site heal. Most wounds take 4-6 weeks to heal. We advise all patients to take it easy for a few days, but you should be able to return to work the following day.

Routine skin checks

The good thing about Mohs surgery is that after your procedure, you leave cancer-free. However, that doesn’t mean skin cancer won’t reappear. If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, you’re more likely to develop it a second time.

The best way to detect skin cancer early is by undergoing routine skin evaluations. Dr. Dinulos suggests coming in annually or more frequently if you’ve previously had skin cancer. That way, you can stay at ease by keeping your health in check.

If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, Mohs surgery may help save your life. Dr. Dinulos specializes in the procedure and can help answer any questions you may have. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Seacoast Dermatology, PLLC today.

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