Developing skin cancer on your face, ears, genitals, and other cosmetically sensitive regions could leave you with permanent scarring after its removal in some cases, but not with Mohs surgery. At Texas Skin Cancer Center in Kingwood, Pearland, and Houston, Texas, Mohs surgeon Joseph Sedrak, MD, uses this high cure-rate method to remove basal and squamous cell carcinoma with minimal scarring. To find out if you’re a good candidate for Mohs surgery, call Texas Skin Cancer Center or book a consultation online today.
Mohs surgery is a delicate skin surgery for skin cancer. Unlike other forms of skin cancer removal, Mohs focuses on letting you keep as much healthy skin and tissue in the region as possible and minimizing scarring.
Before Mohs surgery, Dr. Sedrak numbs the skin around your cancerous lesion. During the surgery, he carefully removes a fine layer of cells from the lesion. He takes the excised tissue to the in-house lab where he prepares it with pigmented dye and examines it under a microscope. Using this method, he can map the roots of the tumor and knows where to cut next.
Dr. Sedrak repeats the process, removing a small sample of cells each time. He continues until he can see no more tumor cells in a sample under the microscope. Finally, he repairs the small wound to further minimize your chances of having a lasting scar.
Mohs surgery is usually one of the best options to remove basal and squamous cell carcinoma, two of the most common types of skin cancer. There are a few additional circumstances that make you a great candidate for the procedure, including:
Mohs surgery preserves the maximum amount of healthy skin and tissue surrounding your tumor. Other surgeries must remove some healthy skin and tissue around cancerous lesions and leave distinguishable scarring as a result.
Recovering from Mohs surgery is usually uneventful and simple on your part. Dr. Sedrak might encourage you to take a day or two off work in order to rest and recover, but you can return to work without complication as soon as the day after your surgery.
You may or may not need pain medication to manage your discomfort, and over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen will do. However, you should take extra precaution to protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen and protective hats and clothing. Using sunscreen regularly on the scar as you heal can help keep it as small as possible.
Dr. Sedrak gives you specific aftercare instructions to follow as you care for your small wound. For optimal healing, you should keep it dry for at least 24 hours and avoid communal or natural water, like pools and lakes, until after Dr. Sedrak removes the stitches. You can minimize swelling using an ice pack for 5-15 minutes per hour.
For more information about Mohs surgery and the recovery period that comes later, request an appointment by phone or online at Texas Skin Cancer Center today.