Will I Scar After MOHS Surgery to Remove My Skin Cancer?
Many people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. While Mohs surgery is a very effective treatment option, patients often wonder if they will be left with a scar. The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size, extent, and location of cancer. In most cases, however, patients can expect to have minimal scarring after Mohs surgery. In fact, Mohs surgery is specifically designed to spare healthy tissue and minimize scarring, thereby allowing for optimal cosmetic results.
What is MOHS surgery and why is it used to remove skin cancer?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized procedure used to remove select types of skin cancer that have been identified in a patient. By using a precise technique, this type of surgery allows for the tumor to be removed while preserving as much healthy skin as possible. As each layer is taken, it is quickly checked under a microscope to see if any cancer cells remain. If there are, then additional layers can be taken off until all of the cancerous tissue has been removed, and the patient is left with only healthy skin behind. This minimizes the chances of scarring and provides better cosmetic results for those in need of such procedures for skin cancer.
How Do I know if Mohs surgery is right for me?
There are several different treatments available for skin cancer, depending on the type and severity of the condition. These include topical creams, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy, and surgery. Surgery is the most common and often the most effective means for treating skin cancer as it can remove the affected tissue with a safe, healthy surrounding margin to ensure all of the cancer cells have been removed. Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized surgical procedure that uses a precise technique to remove cancerous tissue while preserving healthy skin and minimizing scarring. Additionally, patients who suffer from large tumors, or tumors in functional or cosmetically sensitive areas may find Mohs surgery to be the most beneficial due to its accuracy and ability to preserve surrounding tissue. Ultimately, your doctor will be able to suggest which treatment option is best suited for you based on your individual case.
What are the risks associated with Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a highly effective method of treating skin cancer and achieving high levels of cure. However, there are certain risks associated with this surgery that should be taken into account before proceeding. A few of these include infection at the site of the incision, bleeding, nerve damage leading to temporary numbness or tingling, and scarring. Although these potential issues may seem intimidating at first glance, most people who receive Mohs surgery report very positive outcomes as long as they follow their doctors’ instructions carefully post-surgery.
How do I care for my skin after Mohs surgery?
After Mohs surgery, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure optimal healing and minimize scarring. Follow the wound care instructions provided to you by your doctor. In general, the surgical site should be kept clean as much as possible. Additionally, keeping the wound covered with a bandage can help protect it from infection-causing bacteria. If prescribed by your doctor, apply an antibiotic ointment or cream to the area regularly to promote healing. If stitches were used in your procedure, keep an eye on them and make sure they are still intact and secure. It is also important to monitor any signs of infection like redness, swelling, pus drainage, or fever that may indicate that medical attention is needed immediately. Your doctor might also recommend that you avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting while your wound is healing. Finally, practice good skin care habits in general by wearing sunscreen daily as well as protective clothing when in direct sunlight. Doing so will help reduce the risk of further skin damage or skin cancer recurrence in the future.
What are the chances of scarring after MOHS surgery and how can I minimize the appearance of scars?
Understanding the risks and potential outcomes of Mohs surgery is important for cancer patients looking to have the procedure done. One major concern among people is the appearance of scarring after the surgery, so it is important to know what your chances are and how best to minimize the visible effects. Generally speaking, Mohs procedures have high rates of successful tumor removal with minimal damage left behind afterward, meaning scarring should be minimal as well. Your Mohs surgeon is also trained in reconstructive surgery and will use all the necessary approaches and techniques to optimize your outcome after surgery.
There are also a few precautions you can take after the procedure, such as keeping your wound clean, covering it when exposed to the sun, and avoiding scratching or picking at it to ensure it heals properly. Most importantly, follow your doctor’s wound care instructions closely to achieve the best results. Significant scarring from Mohs surgery is not typical, and with proper care afterward,m you should be able to enjoy a healthy outcome with minimal scars.
If scarring occurs, what options do I have to treat them?
After Mohs surgery for skin cancer, you may be concerned as to what happens if scarring does occur. Luckily, there are several options available to treat your scars and improve their appearance. For pigmentary changes related to your scarring, pigment lasers can help improve the visibility of those pigments. Microneedling can also be used to help soften and smooth out any ridges or contour irregularities caused by the scar. Another option is to use a resurfacing laser to diminish old wounds and restore the tissue’s collagen levels. Skincare products such as creams and lotions, as well as silicone gels and bandages, are also helpful in treating scars by promoting cellular renewal and collagen production. All these treatments could help you put your best face forward after Mohs surgery for skin cancer!
Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for skin cancer, but it does come with some risks. There is a small chance of scarring after the procedure, but this can be minimized with proper post-operative care. With proper care and monitoring, most people who have Mohs surgery can minimize any complications and obtain excellent results.
About The Author
Dr. Adam Mamelak is a board-certified dermatologist, as well as a board-certified Mohs Micrographic Surgeon; he holds certification in both America and Canada. He was the founder of the first-ever Mohs Micrographic surgery practice in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. He treated such prestigious clients as dignitaries and political leaders. He is a renowned specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He remains at the forefront of new discoveries, often conducting clinical and laboratory research. Many respected medical journals have published the findings of Dr. Mamelak’s research. He can be found at both our North Austin and Dripping Springs locations performing life-changing Mohs micrographic surgery and helping patients in all aspects of dermatology.