Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Fortunately, there are many minimally invasive treatments for skin cancer, and people with this illness often have a good prognosis. However, it's still important to seek treatment for skin cancer as soon as possible to prevent your state cancer from spreading or getting worse. Mohs surgery is a common treatment because it offers doctors the opportunity to test for clear margins during the surgical procedure itself. This can reduce the number of surgeries that you must undergo and ensure that all of the cancer is removed the first time. You should know these things when scheduling Mohs surgery:
1. You should wear comfortable clothes to your appointment.
Skin cancer excision surgery is usually performed while the patient is awake. Depending on the location of your skin cancer lesion, you may be able to wear your regular clothes during your procedure. However, you should choose the type of clothes you wear with care. Choose clothing that is loose and comfortable that also allows easy access to the area of skin to be treated.
2. You may want to bring something to keep yourself occupied during your surgery.
The amount of time needed for Mohs surgery will depend on your doctor's findings during the procedure. During Mohs surgery, tissue is removed in thin layers that are then examined microscopically. Lab technicians look for the appearance of abnormal cells that indicate cancerous tissue. Your doctor will continue removing tissue until the margins of the last sample are clear. This can take some time, so you may want to bring a book or music player to keep yourself busy while you wait.
3. You should follow your doctor's directions regarding post-op care.
At the end of your surgery, your doctor will close the incision site using stitches. You will be given post-op instructions to help you care for the surgical wound as it heals. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions to avoid infections and manage your pain. You may need to avoid getting your surgical wounds wet and exposing them to sunlight during the initial healing process. If your doctor uses traditional sutures, you may also need to return to your doctor's office to have them removed.
4. You may have some lingering sensitivity at the surgical site.
It's normal for people to have some sensitivity at their surgical site, even after their wound has healed. This can be caused by the process of nerves regrowing. This sensitivity should diminish over time, but you should mention it to your doctor if it's causing pain or discomfort.