Here's What to Expect During Your Mohs Procedure

Your skin is your largest organ and the one most likely to be affected by cancer. While skin cancer can be a daunting diagnosis, cure rates are high with early detection. 

If you’ve selected a Mohs procedure for your skin cancer treatment, you’ve already upped your odds of a positive outcome. Our team can help ensure that you’re pleased with the cosmetic results, too.

Board-certified cosmetic and oculofacial plastic surgeon Robert Schwarcz, MD, and his team close Mohs surgery incisions after a dermatologist completes the surgery in one of our offices in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and Rye, New York.

If you’re slated for a Mohs procedure, here’s what to expect during and after your treatment.

How Mohs procedures treat skin cancer

Mohs surgery removes thin layers of your skin one at a time for examination with a microscope. This process continues until no cancerous cells remain. Because it’s so meticulous, Mohs procedures don’t damage surrounding healthy tissue. They’re also linked with a success rate of up to 99%

For these reasons, Mohs is considered the gold standard treatment for especially risky skin cancers, such as those with aggressive growth patterns or those located on the head or neck.

What to expect during your Mohs procedure

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, performed by a dermatologist in our office. While you remain awake, a local anesthetic numbs the area to prevent pain and discomfort.

You’ll simply sit comfortably while the skin layers are removed and relax during the sample analysis, which may take several hours. 

Immediately after your Mohs procedure is complete, Dr. Schwarcz reconstructs the area to create the most aesthetically pleasing results. This is particularly helpful if your cancerous mole is large or is located on your face. Dr. Schwarcz can also address Mohs surgery scarring from a procedure performed elsewhere.

Mohs surgery aftercare

Once your Mohs procedure and closure are complete, our team goes over your aftercare instructions. Steps may include using a topical ointment to guard against infection and temporarily avoiding heavy lifting and intense exercise.

You may experience bruising and swelling after your surgery, especially if a mole was removed near your eyes. Applying an ice pack for 10-15 minutes at a time during the first 24-48 hours can minimize these effects. Regardless, bruising and swelling tend to ease up within a week.

To learn more about Mohs surgery closure or get a cosmetic assessment, book a consultation with Dr. Schwarcz today. Call the office nearest to you, or request an appointment online.

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