What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
The Mohs Micrographic Surgery is deemed as one of the most accurate and efficient cancer treatment techniques available. It is used to carefully and precisely remove layers of cancer-ridden skin until only cancer-free tissue is left. This technique aims to reduce the amount of cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the surrounding healthy tissue as possible.
Additionally, the Mohs Micrographic technique allows surgeons to determine whether all cancer cells have been removed at the time of the surgery; this vastly increases the chances of achieving a full recovery and reduces the need for supplementary treatments.
What does the Mohs Surgery treat?
The Mohs Micrographic Surgery can be used to treat several types of cancers, including:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: Also known as Basal Cell Skin Cancer; this type of disease often occurs in people with fair skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun. It is most commonly seen in the face.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Also known as Squamous Cell Skin Cancer; this type of disease is more common in people with dark skin, although fair skinned individuals are not exempt, and it occurs in places that are not often exposed to the sun such as the legs and feet. In people with fair skin, squamous cell cancer can occur in areas that have been exposed to the sun such as the head, face, ears, and neck.
What should I expect?
The Mohs Micrographic Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in an operating room/procedure room. Although the procedure generally lasts about four hours, doctors may recommend reserving an entire day for the surgery as it may be difficult to determine the extent of the skin tumor.
In preparation for the surgery, a nurse or surgeon will apply a local anesthetic to the area that will be operated on; this numbs the patient’s skin in order to effectively diminish pain during the surgery. During surgery the cancerous tissue is removed with a scalpel, and a temporary bandage is applied to the area of incision.
The Mohs Micrographic Surgery yields results immediately, and patients remain in treatment until all of the cancerous tissue has been removed.
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