Skin Cancer Diagnosis? Mohs Surgery Advantages You Should Know
A skin cancer diagnosis can be intimidating, but you should know treatment options are available, especially if we catch things early. One of the most precise and effective treatments for skin cancer is a procedure called Mohs surgery. This micrographic surgery offers patients many benefits, and can help treat many kinds of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and some melanomas.
Learn about Mohs surgery for skin cancer and its many benefits. Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 626-793-7790 to schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced dermatologists.
What Happens During Mohs Surgery?
We’ll provide you with detailed information about your Mohs surgery plan before your procedure. Here’s what you can expect during your treatment at Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena.
- First, we apply local anesthesia to the treatment area to ensure your comfort during surgery.
- We surgically remove the outer, visible portions of the tumor.
- Your doctor carefully removes a layer of tissue and surrounding skin, and sends it for analysis. You’ll be bandaged and will wait for the results.
- The dermatologist carefully examines the tissue, pinpointing the areas where cancer remains.
- Your doctor then removes another thin layer of tissue from the cancer site and covers the treatment area.
- While you wait, the tissue gets processed and analyzed for remaining cancer cells, and a map will show us exactly which areas need treatment.
- The process continues until all margins are clear and no cancer remains.
- After Mohs surgery, your doctor will address any aesthetic issues that arose from the procedure and will carefully bandage the treatment area. Some patients will need stitches. Large removals may require skin grafting. We do our best to minimize aesthetic changes while ensuring the removal of all cancer.
Mohs surgery can take some time to complete correctly, as it requires layer-by-layer tissue removal, with analysis between each stage. In some cases, this procedure can require more than four hours. Many patients will finish sooner, but we keep going until we achieve clear margins.
The Benefits of Mohs Surgery in Pasadena
Mohs surgery offers many benefits to skin cancer patients. This treatment allows for the maximum preservation of healthy tissues with complete removal of the cancer, and virtually eliminates recurrence. Since we remove all cancerous tissues are removed during surgery, there is no need for reoperation for insufficient tissue removal.
Because your surgeon will remove the smallest amount of tissue possible, this technique is ideal for treating highly visible areas like the face, nose, hands, and ears.
The benefits of Mohs surgery include:
- Complete cancer removal, verified at the time of surgery
- No need for additional operations
- Minimizes healthy tissue removal
- Allows for immediate cosmetic repair
- Effective for hard-to-treat and stubborn cancers
Do I Need a Skin Cancer Screening?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is also very treatable if we catch it early. Come see us for a skin cancer screening if you notice changes to your skin. Changes to watch for include:
- A skin growth that bleeds easily
- Growths that increase in size
- Changes in the appearance of moles or birthmarks
- Moles or birthmarks that itch, hurt, crust, or bleed
- An open sore that does not heal within four weeks
- A sore that heals and reopens
If you notice these or other changes to your skin, schedule a visit to your dermatologist. It is best to treat skin cancer at its earliest stages, before it has grown substantially or spread to other parts of the body. You can reach Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena at 626-793-7790.