Top 4 ways to repair the skin after Mohs surgery for skin cancer: #4 Secondary Intention

The Mohs surgery technique is an extremely precise way of removing cancers from the skin. During this procedure, microscopically thin layers of tissue are taken, one after the other, until all the roots of the cancer are completely removed.

While many patients believe skin surgery has to have stitches after a procedure, sometimes the best way to heal the area after a skin cancer has been removed is to simply let the wound heal on its own!

Think about it: if you scrap your knee on the pavement, would you get stitches? Whether it’s a basal cell carcinoma, or a squamous cell carcinoma, in some cases these tumors removed are so superficial that only an extremely thin layer of skin needs to be removed to give you the over 99% cure rate that patients get with Mohs surgery.

This natural approach to healing is also called “secondary intention” or “granulation and epithelialization.” Like any other form of skin closure, this option would be considered by a physician for a number of reasons. “If the aesthetic result would be the same with or without stitches, why put a patient through more surgery?” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak, a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon who performs reconstructive surgery for skin cancer patients at Sanova Dermatology. Depending on the size and location of the skin cancer, secondary intention is a viable approach to healing the skin after surgery that can provide superior cosmetic results. One recognized downside of this approach is the area often takes longer to heal than when stitches are use.

Contact Us

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mamelak, please contact us today.

About the Author:

5x7_final MERIDIA MEDICAL 2011 118Dr. Adam Mamelak is a skin cancer specialist trained in the Mohs technique and reconstructive surgery. He has written book chapters and published papers on his surgical techniques in peer-reviewed medical journals.

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