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What Is MOHS Surgery?

An innovative micrographic surgical technique can reduce scarring caused by skin cancer treatment. MOHS surgery, one of the surgical treatments offered by the Carson City, NV, dermatologists at Carson Dermatology, may be a good option for you if you've been diagnosed with skin cancer.

What is MOHS surgery?

Removing every trace of cancer is essential if you have skin cancer. Before MOHS micrographic surgery was invented, dermatologists had to remove a significant area of healthy skin to ensure that all of the cancerous cells were gone. While this type of surgery is effective and sometimes needed, it often creates large, noticeable scars.

MOHS micrographic surgery preserves healthy skin, thanks to its unique approach to skin cancer surgery. Your Carson City skin doctor removes the top layer of skin and examines it under a microscope while you wait. If he or she sees cancerous cells, another layer of skin is removed and examined. The process continues until all of the cancerous cells are removed. Your skin is numbed with a local anesthetic before surgery begins to ensure that you feel no pain.

Since surgery stops as soon as the cancer is gone, scars are minimized. The surgery also helps your skin doctor ensure that every trace of cancer has been eliminated. In addition to reducing the loss of healthy tissue, MOHS surgery also speeds healing and improves the cure rate. If your surgical site was small, you may not even need any stitches.

After the surgery, you may feel a little pain, which can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Itching, redness, or swelling can also occur. You'll need to avoid getting the surgical site wet for at least 24 hours.

When is MOHS surgery recommended?

MOHS surgery can be a good option if you have basal or squamous cell cancers. In some cases, it can also be helpful for melanoma. The surgery is often performed on cancers that appear on the head, neck, face, feet, or genitals.

MOHS surgery can help you protect your health. Call your Carson City, NV, dermatologists at Carson Dermatology at (775) 883-7811 if you're concerned about a suspicious spot or want to schedule a skin cancer screening.

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