Mohs Surgery – Typical Recovery And Downtime

August 15th, 2017

Typical Recovery And Downtime

Mohs micrographic surgery is one of the most efficient surgical skin cancer treatment that offers following advantages to the patient:

  • Ensuring maximal removal of the tumor and preventing its recurrence;
  • Histological examination is carried out during the operation, with samples taken layer by layer, which improves the efficiency of treatment;
  • Skin damage minimization;
  • Hospitalization is not required in most cases;
  • The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia.

Mohs surgery includes the stage of defect reconstruction immediately after the tumor excision or with some delay depending on the situation. Reconstruction means that the postoperative wound is closed in a way that is most suitable in each specific case that allows minimizing of an aesthetic defect. If the wound is small, it may recover without additional efforts. In other cases, skin is stitching side-to-side. If the wound is extensive, the surgeon performs either a graft or a skin flap.

Time frame for wound healing

Stitches on the face or neck are usually removed within 7-10 days.
Stitches on the ears, scalp, limbs, chest and back are usually removed within 14 days.
The scar is tightened in about a month.
The postoperative wound heals in 4-6 weeks.
The scar will continue to heal and develop over the next 6-12 months.

Will the Mohs surgery leave a scar?

Yes. All surgical operations leave scars. However, scarring left after the Mohs surgery is minimal as compared to other surgical methods. That’s not an insurmountable problem. The scar could be reduced with the help of anti-scarring medication injections, dermabrasion, or laser treatment. These measures are typically taken between 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery.

In the first months, the scar will be reddish and become lighter gradually. The appearance of the scar will improve within the first year. You should avoid direct, unprotected sun exposure if you don’t want it to become more severe or get an uneven skin tone.

What places you at increased risk of complications?

Your doctor will necessarily discuss the risks related to your individual health condition and medications, especially blood-thinning drugs. We just want to put the particular emphasis on the hazards of smoking. It negatively affects your healing process and increases your risk of skin cancer recurrence along with the appearance of other types of cancer. The benefits you get if you quit smoking are enormous.

What should you do to make rehabilitation faster and more efficient?

When you return home, follow these steps to ensure a normal recovery:

  • Keep the postoperative area clean, dry and protected. Follow the doctor’s instructions for caring for the operating wound;
  • Ask the doctor when it is safe to take a shower and swim;
  • To relieve pain, you can take pain medication;
  • Undergoing regular examinations is necessary. Your skin condition must be under a professional’s care;
  • Use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30;
  • Protect skin from the sun. Wear long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses;
  • Perform regular self check-ups and never skip your annual skin cancer screenings.

Any questions left?

Please ask your question regarding rehabilitation after the Mohs surgery in the comments to this blog post or contact us directly.


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