Mohs Surgery Sarasota, FL
Mohs Surgery, named for Dr. Frederic Mohs who developed the technique, is a highly specialized and precise treatment for skin cancer in which the cancer is removed in stages, one tissue layer at a time. It is an outpatient procedure, performed under local anesthesia, and is distinguished by a specific technique of tissue examination that is unique to Mohs surgery. Dial (941) 379-6647 today to consult with Dr. Jennifer T. Trent and learn more about the procedure!
What are the advantages of Mohs surgery?
Mohs is considered the Gold Standard of skin cancer treatment for several reasons. Advantages include:
- Highest cure rate (99%) of all skin cancer treatment techniques.
- Fewer chances for errors. The same doctor who removes the layers of tissue also examines the tissue specimen. The entire process is done in the office.
- Greater accuracy than other methods of skin cancer treatment.
- Immediate results during the single office visit.
Conservative tissue removal results in less scarring and reduced downtime.
How long does Mohs surgery take?
Many Mohs procedures can be completed in four hours or less. However, there is no way to predict how long it will take to perform this very precise procedure. Patients are typically advised to clear their schedule for the entire day to ensure that they can remain in the office until they have received a clear pathology report from the doctor.
How should I prepare for Mohs surgery?
If any medications need to be altered or avoided, the doctor will discuss when this should occur. Usually, medications and supplements that can thin the blood need to be discontinued started at least one week before Mohs surgery. Because patients may be in the office for several hours, some may need to bring prescribed medications with them to their appointment to maintain their normal dosing schedule. They can also bring lunch or snacks, and should have at least one bottle of water. In addition to knowing what medications and supplements to avoid, patients should also refrain from drinking alcohol in the 24 hours before their procedure. The surgical area should be clean and free of lotion, makeup, fragrance, or other products. Finally, because Mohs can be a long appointment day, patients can bring a friend to keep them company, a book, or other entertainment that will help them pass the time.
The Mohs Surgery Procedure
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in a physician’s office. Mohs surgery may be performed by a team of specialists, with each team member specializing in a different part of the surgery, or by one surgeon that is experienced and capable of performing the whole procedure.
During Mohs surgery, the area that is treated is numbed with a local anesthetic. Small layers of skin are removed, and each layer is examined under a microscope to see if it has malignant cells. This process continues until the cancerous cells are removed completely. Most Mohs surgery can be performed in three stages or less, and it takes around 4 hours.
Recovery From Mohs Surgery
After Mohs surgery, you may experience mild discomfort, bruising, bleeding and swelling. Pain medication will be prescribed to you as needed, although most patients require only over-the-counter pain medication.
Mohs surgery does leave scars, although they are often smaller than scars left by other excision procedures. Reconstructive procedures, including skin grafts and/or skin flaps, can reduce the prominence of scars, and they can be performed with your Mohs surgery or at a later time. Often times stitches will be placed in the skin’s natural creases or in out-of-sight areas, which can help make scarring less visible.
Is Mohs surgery painful?
No. The Mohs procedure is performed with the liberal use of a local anesthetic. This powerful numbing medication is injected into the treatment area, so patients may feel a slight pinch or burning sensation when the doctor administers the anesthetic. After the medication is injected, patients have no pain in the target area.
Can skin cancer return after Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is known to have a lower recurrence rate than conventional excision surgery for the removal of basal cell and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. The recurrence rate for basal cell carcinomas is very low. Rates for squamous cell carcinomas are also low, but these growths sometimes do recur, regardless of removal technique.
Risks of Mohs Surgery
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, Mohs surgery includes the following risks:
- Temporary/permanent surgical-area numbness
- Temporary/permanent surgical-area weakness
- Skin discoloration
- Shooting pain
- Keloid scar
Following Mohs surgery, it is important to visit your dermatologist and doctor regularly to make sure that cancer has not returned or that new cancer has grown.
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Schedule A Mohs Surgery Consultation In Sarasota, FL!
If you are interested in learning more about Mohs Surgery or are seeking to determine whether you are a candidate, call American Dermatology Associates today at (941) 379-6647! You can also fill out the contact us form on this page, and our staff will assist you with setting up an appointment with Dr. Jennifer T. Trent. Our practice looks forward to serving you!