Skin cancer surgery doesn’t have to be invasive. Did you know that there is an outpatient surgical procedure that leaves you cancer free and, since only local anesthetic is used, leaves you able to walk out and enjoy the rest of your day? The Mohs procedure is effective in treating the more common skin cancers, squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma. The procedure is less invasive, increases the likelihood of a cure and reduces the demand for subsequent surgeries. Your dermatologist in San Diego, CA, can likely perform the surgery for you and because the procedure is so minimally invasive your recovery time will be significantly decreased. Read on to learn more about the Mohs procedure, how it works, and when it’s most effective.

What Is It?

The Mohs procedure involves a dermatologist, (skin doctor), taking layers of skin, analyzing them in a nearby lab under a microscope to identify the presence or absence of cancerous cells, and removing the cancer. Your doctor will remove layer by layer until no cancer is detected under a microscope. Other treatments would involve removing the cancerous cells as well as a portion of surrounding healthy tissue. With the Mohs procedure, your doctor is only cutting out the damaged, cancerous cells, leaving you with a smaller wound. This procedure is ideal if your cancer is localized in the facial region as it results in minimal scarring.

What to Expect

Your cosmetic dermatologist in San Diego, CA, will take you back to an operating or procedure room that is located near a lab. The surgeon will be going back and forth to the lab throughout the procedure to analyze the skin samples and look for cancer after the tissue has been removed. During this time, you will have to wait in the operating room, so it is best if you bring something to pass the time such as a book, iPad, or magazine. The procedure typically lasts 2 to 4 hours, but this can vary based on the extent of your cancer. Doctors usually suggest that you block off the entire day just in case the procedure runs long. They want to be sure that all your cancerous tissue is removed.

For more information about Skin Cancer MOHS procedure, give Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology a call 858-292-7525!