A Look at Mohs Recovery Strategies
- Posted on: Apr 15 2019
No patient revels in hearing they have skin cancer, though the confirmation can ultimately reduce their sense of stress related to an abnormal growth. Skin cancers that are discovered early are easier to treat with less invasive techniques such as Mohs. Early treatment is also advantageous because there may be less of a need for reconstructive surgery after cancerous tissue has been removed.
If you are a patient who is interested in skin cancer treatment with Mohs, know that there are several advantages to this treatment. The advanced training that a dermatologist receives to perform this procedure facilitates excellent outcomes and, usually, minimal reconstructive aspects. One of the benefits of Mohs surgery is that the recovery process is typically shorter than standard surgical excision and there is less of a risk for scarring. However, there are still recovery strategies that you need to know.
If you are a treating physician, knowledge about recovery strategies is an essential aspect of optimal patient outcomes as well as patient-centered care.
Patients should anticipate some degree of pain after Mohs. While the technique is micrographic, the fact is tissue is being removed. The surgical site may feel sore or tender and may bleed during the first few days of recovery. Treating physicians should be alerted to a history of addiction if applicable so appropriate pain medications can be prescribed. In many cases, patients achieve optimal comfort with ibuprofen.
Wound care is a topic we recently discussed because is it a significant aspect of Mohs recovery. Depending on the extent of cancerous tissue, stitches may be placed to close the surgical site and reduce the risk of infection. Patients must also adhere to post-surgical treatment guidelines that instruct them on how to care for their surgical wound. Redness, inflammation, or pus are indicators of poor healing and infection and should be reported to the treating physician right away.
Mitigating Surgical Scars
A prevalent reason that many people choose Mohs micrographic surgery is to reduce the risk of scarring after skin cancer has been removed. In addition to surgical technique, though, aftercare also affects this outcome. In particular, patients should avoid sun exposure after Mohs surgery. Treated skin may be more photosensitive for a time and therefore more prone to scarring. We imagine that a person treated for skin cancer implements outstanding protective habits that minimize UV exposure. The sooner these new habits are instilled, the better.
Patients can find a Mohs provider near them in our directory. If you are a physician interested in Mohs training and affiliation with the American Society for Mohs Surgery, call (800) 616-2767 for more information.
Posted in: MOHS Surgery