Mohs Micrographic Surgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

Mohs Surgery is used to remove skin cancer that affects the face and other sensitive areas. The doctor removes the cancer layer by layer, examining the tissue under a microscope until only healthy tissue remains.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Mohs Surgery is most often used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas and other more rare skin cancers that:

  • Appear on the face (including eye lids, lips), scalp, ears, neck, shins, hands, fingers, feet, toes, and genitals
  • Were previously treated and came back
  • Occur near scar tissue
  • Are large
  • Have poorly-defined edges
  • Are growing rapidly

Mohs Surgery is an effective and precise way to treat basal and squamous cell skin cancers. It offers a good chance for complete removal of the cancer, while sparing normal tissue.

Possible Complications of Mohs Surgery

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have Mohs surgery, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Reaction to the local anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Damage to nerve endings (temporary or permanent numbness or weakness)
  • Itching or shooting-pain sensations

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Bleeding or other drainage
  • Increased pain
  • Redness, warmth, tenderness, or swelling at the incision site
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills

If you...

 
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