Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center provides Mohs surgery as a treatment option for skin cancer patients. As the only Mohs surgery facility between Cleveland, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA, doctors J. Raymond Bernat, Jr., M.D. and Patrick Lee Shannon, M.D. are members of the American Society For Mohs Surgery.

The goal of this surgical technique is the full removal of cancerous tissue while leaving as much healthy surrounding tissue intact as possible. Mohs surgery is highly effective but isn’t used to treat all skin cancers. Instead, this skin cancer treatment in Boardman, OH is usually reserved for cancers that:

  • Are aggressive and/or large;
  • Are located in areas where preservation of healthy tissue is important, such as around the ears, eyes, feet, genitals, hands, mouth, and nose;
  • Have recurred following prior treatment or have a high probability of recurrence; and
  • Have unclear or indistinguishable borders.

How To Prepare For Mohs Surgery

Once your surgeon with Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center decides Mohs surgery is an appropriate treatment, they will create a pre-surgery preparation plan. This may include directions to:

  • Stop taking specific medications and supplements;
  • Wear comfortable clothing;
  • Bring items to help pass the time while your surgeon is in the laboratory; and
  • Plan to be at Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center all day.

What You Can Expect During Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure. Your skin cancer surgeon in Boardman will perform the procedure in an operating or procedure room with a laboratory nearby. Close proximity to a laboratory is necessary to allow the surgeon to examine each layer of removed tissue for cancerous cells.

Procedure For Mohs Surgery

The surgical area is cleansed then outlined before a local anesthesia numbs the area. The surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the visible skin cancer tumor and a thin layer of tissue under the visible part. The tissue is then taken for analysis in the laboratory. Using a microscope, the tissue is carefully examined as the surgeon looks for additional cancerous cells. If more cells are found, the precise location is mapped and surgery resumes from that location until the last removed tissue sample is cancer free. Examination of the tissue is the most time-consuming portion of the procedure, usually about one hour.

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take?

Generally, Mohs surgery is complete in a few hours but your surgeon won’t be able to know for sure until surgery begins. This is because the roots of the skin cancer aren’t visible for the surface, making it difficult to determine how much of the area needs removal.

When Will I Know If The Surgery Was Successful?

Immediately. Your skin cancer surgeon in Boardman will let you know of the findings after each tissue sample is examined. The procedure is complete when all cancerous tissue has been removed from the surgical area.

Will I Have A Scar Afterward?

The majority of patients who undergo Mohs surgery are left with minimal scarring thanks to the precision of the overall procedure. All cancerous tissue has been removed and the surgery is complete, you and your Mohs micrographic surgeon will discuss wound repair.

  • Healing by second intention: Allowing the wound to heal naturally.
  • Primary closure: Closing the wound with sutures.
  • Skin flap:/strong> Moving adjacent skin to cover the wound.
  • Skin graft: Using skin from another area of the body to cover the wound.

After Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery has a high cure rate for skin cancers. But, patients diagnosed with skin cancer have a higher risk of recurrence or developing another skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Your Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to check surgical area healing and for new skin cancer development. Most follow-up appointments are scheduled at least once a year but more often if the skin cancer was aggressive or has a high chance of recurrence.

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