What is Mohs Surgery?
Cancer is a frightening word, but for people who have been diagnosed with skin cancer, we offer a treatment that eliminates cancerous skin cells. Mohs surgery is a technique that gently and meticulously removes skin cancer. The purpose of this process is to take out as little of your healthy skin tissue as possible while still maintaining a high success rate for removing skin cancer. This surgical procedure is used to treat squamous and basal cell carcinomas, melanomas, and other less common kinds of tumors. Our skilled dermatologists at Clear Lake Dermatology in League City and Webster, TX, will begin this procedure by completely removing the cancerous cells one layer at a time. After each and every layer, we'll analyze the cell makeup of your skin tissue to determine whether any cancer is still present.
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Mohs surgery is mostly used to eradicate the two most prevalent types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, along with a wide range of other skin cancer subtypes. If you're suffering from melanoma or another form of rare skin cancer, schedule an appointment with us so we can determine whether you're an ideal candidate for Mohs surgery. In addition to the specific type of skin cancer, we have other qualifying standards that could make you a good candidate for Mohs surgery.
If your skin cancer has a high risk of returning or if it's already returned after undergoing treatment, Mohs surgery may be an ideal option. The cells can be located in sensitive places, such as the ears, eyes, mouth, or nose. If you have skin cancer cells that are large, aggressive, or have borders that are tough to define, Mohs surgery can also remove these types of cells.
During this procedure, our dermatologists will generally use a local anesthetic to numb the affected region before making the incisions to correspond with the orientation of your removed skin. Next, we freeze the excised layer, process it, and then examine it under a microscope. If we detect additional cancer cells, we'll mark the spot on a corresponding map and repeat the process. The procedure continues until we reach a layer that contains no cancer. The number of layers removed and the length of your appointment depends on the stage of your skin cancer. At the end of your procedure, you'll have a wound. We may close the wound with sutures, or you may require a more complicated reconstructive (plastic) operation for bigger treatment spots.
What to Expect
Mohs surgery is not a simple solution, but with an excellent team and the right amount of anesthesia, many patients report minimal discomfort. Mohs surgery is usually completed as an outpatient procedure, and patients can drive themselves home afterward. Even though the treatment site is bandaged, you can typically resume regular, non-strenuous activities the following day. Following Mohs surgery, patients should avoid exercise for 1 – 2 weeks. If we suture the wound, we'll remove them in 6 – 14 days. Scarring varies depending on the process. Mohs surgery has a 99% success rate when treating primary basal cell carcinoma. Primary squamous cell carcinoma has a slightly lower success rate of 97%.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 - 4 weeks
- How Long It Takes
- .5 - 1 hour
Seek Superior Care
When facing a skin cancer diagnosis, it's imperative to do your research and find a trained Mohs surgeon who's a good match for your condition and needs. Success rates of Mohs surgery directly correlate to a doctor's ability and expertise. To learn more about the experience, training, and success rates of our dermatologists, please call Clear Lake Dermatology to schedule a consultation.