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What Patients Should Know About The Mohs Micrographic Procedure

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The Mohs micrographic procedure is one of the most common ways to treat certain types of skin cancers. Anyone who's considering Mohs micrographic procedure surgery should be aware of these three things.

What Does It Treat?

Skin cancers tend to belong to one of two groups, melanoma, and nonmelanoma. Melanoma is a skin cancer that originates in the pigmented parts of the skin. Nonmelanoma covers two major types that aren't pigment-related.

The Mohs micrographic procedure treats nonmelanoma. Specifically, it is a surgery to remove skin sections that have basal or squamous cell carcinoma. The basal variety tends to produce white patches, bumps, or sores on areas of the skin that have experienced sun exposure. Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears like a wart, raised patch of skin, or scaly skin.

Before considering the Mohs micrographic procedure surgery, a doctor will want to perform some tests. Many practices can perform these tests on-site so you and the doctor can make decisions fairly quickly. As long as the test says a patch is either basal or squamous cell carcinoma, the doctor will usually be comfortable proceeding with the surgery.

While the vast majority of these cancers don't metastasize, there is still a risk associated with letting them go. Also, many are not aesthetically pleasing, and they frequently appear on the head, neck, or face. Similarly, allowing the carcinoma to keep going will let it grow and make it harder to deal with later. You shouldn't ignore these types of carcinoma.

A Barely Invasive Procedure

Notable, the Mohs procedure is not completely non-invasive. However, it is one of the least invasive surgeries around. The doctor will establish how large the carcinoma is, mark out a slightly larger area on the skin, and then use a scalpel to remove the patch. Most procedures of this type will only require a local anesthetic to minimize the perception of pain in the skin.

It is common for some folks to have more than one spot with a carcinoma when they come in for the procedure. However, the doctor can usually remove each of these during the same session.


Once the doctor is confident they've successfully removed the carcinoma, they will apply a bandage over the affected area. You will need to disinfect the area for a couple of days, but it should heal quickly. If there is any redness in the surgical area, a dermatologist can usually recommend a prescription to reduce the appearance.

Reach out to a clinic like Desert Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists for more information.