Welcome to Dermatology of Cape Cod

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

What to Know About Mohs Micrographic Surgery

The Mohs Micrographic Surgery technique is the gold standard of skin cancer treatment, allowing the physician to remove as little tissue as possible with the highest cure rate. During the procedure, the visible portion of the tumor is removed with a small margin. This specimen is then taken to the onsite lab while the patient waits. After it is processed, the physician thoroughly examines the edges under the microscope. This allows the physician to precisely identify and map any remaining skin cancer. If further skin cancer is detected, an additional sample is taken and the process is repeated until the margins are found to be clear of any remaining cancer cells. The Mohs Surgery staff consists of highly trained individuals who are experienced in all aspects of the surgical process and are attentive to your care and comfort.

You can learn more about Mohs Surgery by visiting the American College of Mohs Surgery channel.

About Flexile Classic

Preparing for your surgery

You will have a consultation prior to your Mohs surgery to help you prepare for your procedure. Please bring an updated list of your medications and allergies with you to your appointment. If you are on a blood thinner medication, you should continue taking it normally unless a physician has instructed you otherwise.

What to expect the day of surgery

You will arrive for your scheduled appointment in the morning and should plan to spend the whole day with us. You may wish to bring snacks or lunch, as well as reading material. The skin will first be cleaned and then numbed with lidocaine injection (local anesthesia).The first layer of tissue will be removed by cutting around the visible skin cancer. After the first layer of tissue is taken, you will head to our waiting room with a bandage over the area. Here you will have time to relax while the tissue goes to the lab and is then examined under the microscope. This process usually takes around an hour. If there is more skin cancer identified, you will be taken back to the procedure room and another piece of tissue will be taken. If more skin cancer is not identified, you will be brought back to the procedure room, and the area where the skin cancer was removed will be evaluated for the optimal repair or healing option. Sometimes you may be recommended to allow the area to heal by itself (secondary intention healing). More frequently we will use sutures (stitches) to repair the area using a linear closure, flap, or graft to close the wound and provide the optimal repair for your site. We will discuss repairs with you during your consultation.

We will ask that you take it easy following the procedure by not engaging in strenuous activity, chores, or other significant physical activities for one or two weeks depending on the site treated.

Will I have a scar?

Yes, there will be a scar. However, Mohs micrographic surgery preserves as much normal tissue as possible. As a result, the defect created during surgery to remove the skin cancer is as small as possible. Each repair is designed to reconstruct the unique skin cancer defect to give the least noticeable scar possible. The scar or scars will be more noticeable during the first three months after surgery, and improve significantly thereafter. With time and patience, excellent long-term results are the most common outcome after Mohs surgery.

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