Mohs surgery is an innovative and precise treatment for removing skin cancer. Here’s what to expect from this revolutionary dermatological procedure.

When patients are told they have skin cancer, this can sound like a devastating diagnosis. But there’s no need to panic! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there is a 99% survival rate when it is detected, and treated, early. This is thanks, in part, to Mohs surgery, which they believe is ‘the most effective technique for treating common skin cancers’. And we agree!


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What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is a pioneering treatment named after the man who developed it in the 1930s. It is regarded as the gold standard when it comes to treating two common forms of skin cancer, namely basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. It offers the best results with the lowest risk of recurrence.

If you are considering or have been recommended Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer, here’s what you can expect before, during, and after this top-tier treatment.

 Before the procedure

Firstly, relax! Not only is Mohs surgery a great, minimally-invasive cancer removal technique but the procedure itself is practically painless!

The treatment can be time-consuming as it is performed in one day over a few stages, so make sure you are prepared for a long sit and don’t have any other commitments.

During the procedure

The area where the Mohs procedure will be performed is first anesthetized to prevent pain. Once numbed, a layer of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope, and analyzed by a surgeon. The inspection process can take a couple of hours, so it’s a good idea to bring a book or magazine to keep yourself entertained.

If there is any cancer detected, another layer of tissue will be removed and examined in the lab. This will be done until no cancer cells can be found and only healthy tissue remains.

After the procedure

Once your operating surgeon is confident that all cancer cells have been removed, it’s all about wound recovery. Small ones may be left open, with larger ones are stitched up or covered with a skin flap.

There might be some slight pain and discomfort after the procedure as the area heals. This should not last more than a day or two provided the area is kept clean and dry.

We perform Mohs surgery at our Dermcare Arlington, Chelmsford, and Natick offices. Click here to make an appointment now.