Will I Be Asleep For My Mohs Surgery?

Patient who are unfamiliar with dermatologic surgery, or who have been who have been diagnosed with skin cancer for their first time, often worry or feel anxious about what kind of treatment they might need to receive. The word ‘cancer’ all to often often conjures up images of extensive surgery, chemotherapy and potentially radiation. “The majority of patients diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer can be treated as outpatients, usually in the dermatology office,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board-certified Dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in Austin, Texas. Of course, with any procedure, ensure patients are comfortable during their treatment is of utmost importance. In some cancer treatment, this means putting patients to sleep during their therapy or surgeries.

Different procedures require different amounts of numbing or anesthetics. The Mohs Micrographic Surgery offered at Sanova Dermatology & the Austin Mohs Surgery Center does not require you to be asleep to undergo surgery.

doctor“We use local anesthetic to numb the area around the surgical site,” notes Dr. Mamelak. Because the Mohs procedure is minimally invasive,, and removes the skin tumors one superficial layer at a time, it is not necessary for the patient to be asleep for the surgery. “There are a number of reasons and benefits for not putting our patients under,” Dr. Mamelak adds. “The cost of the procedure would increase immensely if we were to have general anesthetics. The surgeries are also generally quick. A much longer portion of time is spent processing the tissue so it can be examined under the microscope. I couldn’t putting a patient to sleep for 30 or 40 minutes when only 5 minutes is spent ‘operating.'” While the idea of being awake for surgery doesn’t sit well with some patients, there are potential health risks and adverse reactions that can occur when patients are put under general anesthesia. Dr. Mamelak strives to make the best decisions possible for his patients and their health, avoiding any potential for danger whenever possible.

Although the act of removing cancerous tissue from the body can appear to be a very invasive surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery for skin cancer is very patient-friendly. It is intended to spare as much health tissue as possible, allowing for a more clean healing and significantly less scarring.

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At Sanova Dermatology & the Austin Mohs Surgery Center, we strive to offer the greatest comfort to our patients while visiting us. If you have questions about any of our treatments, please contact us!

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