Mohs Surgery Chicago
What is a Mohs Surgery and what types of skin cancer can be treated?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a precise way to remove skin cancers with the highest cure rate while leaving the most amount of normal skin. The skin cancer is examined under the microscope, and once cleared the wound is usually closed with sutures. This technique offers a 99% cure rate for most tumors. The two most common type of skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) are usually treated with Mohs if they are on the face, if they are large on other parts of the body, or if they have recurred after another type of treatment.
What is the treatment day like?
Mohs surgery is performed in our surgical suites in the outpatient setting. It is performed with local anesthesia. The skin cancer is removed after the area is numbed during stage one. At this point the tissue is turned into microscopic slides and examined for clearance. If there is still skin cancer after stage one, another stage is taken until it is completely removed. Although most people are in the office a few hours, sometimes patients stay all day depending on how many stages it takes to clear the tumor. We have snacks, drinks, magazines, and television available for patient’s comfort while they wait.
What do I expect after the procedure?
Most patients require sutures to close the defect after the skin cancer is clear. Sometimes extra skin must be moved in from a nearby site (skin flap or graft). After the last sutures are placed, the Mohs nurses bandage the area, and the patients return home. The bandage stays on until the next morning, then the area is cleaned with soap and water, and a healing ointment is applied to the wound. The sutures are left intact for the next week or two.
Long-term monitoring of the surgical site and other areas is necessary as people with one skin cancer are at high risk of developing another.