Skin cancer is a particularly common type of cancer that has many causes and, thankfully, many potential cures. The Mohs procedure for skin cancer is a fast, effective, and cost-efficient way to rid patients of many types of skin cancers. The procedure is relatively simple, especially when compared to the many types of cancer treatments and surgeries done every day. You may be wondering, “Is Mohs surgery serious?” The following guide gives you a more detailed look at the procedure, and you should feel welcomed to contact your healthcare provider for more information.
What Is a Mohs Procedure?
When it comes to skin cancer treatments, it is always best to look into all viable treatments that offer a strong chance at recovery with the least invasive method. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with skin cancer, you may want to know more about the Mohs procedure. Ultimately, it is one of the most promising ways to cure many types of skin cancers without undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or highly invasive surgical procedures. This procedure is a relatively simple, fast, safe, and effective way to remove a cancerous skin tumor that does not require a long time to heal up.
How Is the Mohs Surgery Performed?
A Mohs procedure is a surgical process during which your surgeon completely removes cancerous tissue from your skin. Once all the cancerous tissue is gone, the Mohs procedure is done. All that might be left to do is a skin graft to cover up a scar. Exactly how is the Mohs surgery performed? In most cases, the procedure starts with the surgeon outlining the afflicted area with ink. A local anesthetic numbs the area so that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort.
Once the procedure begins, your surgeon will aim to cut out all of the cancerous tissue without removing healthy tissue. When the tumor is gone, the surgeon removes a very thin layer of the surrounding skin. A pathologist immediately analyzes the tissue to determine whether or not all of the cancerous material was removed. If not, your surgeon identifies any remaining cancerous tissue and removes it. Another thin layer of skin gets analyzed, and the process is repeated until the pathologist confirms all cancerous tissue is gone. A skin graft and follow-up appointments are all that remain to ensure a full recovery, which happens most of the time.
What Is the Success Rate of Mohs Surgery?
Skin cancers are highly treatable when caught early. The Mohs procedure for skin cancer is a highly developed surgical process that focuses on removing the affected tissue while leaving as much healthy tissue in place. Because it is a very precise procedure that removes all cancerous tissue with immediate testing affirming its success, it is successful about 98% of the time. The entire process takes between two to four hours, which helps calm those who may be a bit apprehensive. When the cancerous tissue is gone and the remaining healthy tissue only undergoes a minor trauma, you can heal up very quickly and without medical complications.
Are You Awake During Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery typically does not require general anesthetic, which means this procedure is done while you’re awake. Instead of using general anesthetic, your surgeon will numb the area on which he or she will operate and then proceed. Because it uses a localized anesthetic to number the afflicted area, most patients remain awake during Mohs surgery. That means no recovery room costs to consider. It also means the procedure will be much faster, reducing the intrusion on your daily life.
You may be scared to be awake during the surgery. If this is the case, you can talk to your doctor before the procedure. They’ll come up with a solution that works best for you and doesn’t interfere with the process. Getting diagnosed with skin cancer can be an unsettling time, and your doctor wants to make sure you feel comfortable.
Can a Dermatologist Do Mohs Surgery?
Surgery often comes across as scary and expensive to many. This might make you wonder, “When can a dermatologist do Mohs surgery?” So long as the dermatologist is a properly trained and licensed surgeon, they can perform Mohs surgery. In fact, they are likely a dermatological surgeon who specializes in surgery. When it comes to medical training and licensing, all surgeons are also qualified doctors of medicine, but not all doctors of medicine are surgeons.
Can You Drive Home After Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery usually is done on an outpatient basis and uses localized anesthetic to eliminate any pain. A patient likely would not undergo any disorienting medication that would render them incapable of driving immediately after undergoing surgery. Mohs surgery recovery is generally very quick due to the highly localized and generally non-invasive nature. Barring any disorienting medication, such as pain medication that might be administered, and depending on the location of the surgery, you can drive home after. Like any surgical procedure, it is best to have someone else handle the driving due to potential stress and other distractions.
What Is the Cost of Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery happens in a single surgical procedure that is done gradually until all cancerous tissue disappears. The speed and efficiency of the surgery combined with its relatively non-invasive nature makes it a relatively affordable form of cancer treatment. The cost of Mohs surgery generally depends on the location on your body and how quickly it is done. If a relatively fast and successful outpatient surgery occurs, the cost is very affordable and covered by most health insurance plans, minus any applicable deductibles.
Learn How the Mohs Procedure Might Help You
TopLine MD affiliated providers are able to accurately analyze tumors and perform the Mohs procedure for skin cancer with a very high rate of success. With the national average of 80% success from a single Mohs procedure, the risks are very low and the potential benefits very high. See if there’s a TopLine MD provider who specializes in Mohs Surgery.