What Happens During Mohs Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a special technique that uses a physician's skill, under local anesthesia, to remove skin cancers. In most cases, the surgeon will perform this surgery in their office.
You will be awake during the entire procedure, but your Mohs surgeon can give you medicine to help you relax. The surgeon will first numb the skin around the cancerous area so you cannot feel anything. Then he or she will remove any suspicious areas with a layer of surrounding tissue. The surgeon examines this tissue under a microscope. If any cancer cells are present, he or she will remove another adjacent layer. The surgeon repeats the process until he or she does not detect any cancer cells under the microscope. The surgery usually lasts a few hours.
Because the surgeon examines the tissue they remove, Mohs surgery reduces the need to remove healthy tissue. This surgery is intended to allow for complete removal of the skin cancer while creating a small tissue defect. This allows for improved wound healing and cosmetic results. Your surgeon may also discuss options for reconstructive surgery depending on the size and location of the cancer they removed. If the defect is on the face, eyelids or the eye itself, a specially trained ophthalmologist may assist with this reconstruction.
Following the procedure, your surgeons will monitor you to make sure that you are healing properly.