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Mohs Micrographic Surgery
|Basal Cell Carcinoma|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Appear on the face (including eye lids, lips), scalp, ears, neck, shins, hands, fingers, feet, toes, and genitals
- Were previously treated and came back
- Occur near scar tissue
- Are large
- Have poorly-defined edges
- Are growing rapidly
- Reaction to the local anesthesia
- Damage to nerve endings (temporary or permanent numbness or weakness)
- Itching or shooting-pain sensations
- Taking blood thinners
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Discuss with your doctor any allergies or medical problems that you have.
- You will most likely be able to continue taking your medicines. Tell your doctor if you are taking any blood thinning medicines.
- Arrange for a ride home and for help at home.
- Eat normally the day of the procedure.
Description of Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
- Keep the area clean, dry, and protected. Follow your doctor’s instructions for caring for the wound.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- For pain relief, take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen .
- Be sure to attend any follow-up visits. Your doctor will monitor your condition.
- Keep in mind that it is normal for a scar to form. The appearance may improve over time.
Take steps to prevent skin cancer:
- Use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
- Protect your skin from the sun. For example, wear a shirt, wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
- Regularly check your skin for changes.
Call Your Doctor
- Bleeding or other drainage
- Increased pain
- Redness, warmth, tenderness, or swelling at the incision site
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
American College of Mohs Surgery http://www.mohscollege.org/
American Society for Mohs Surgery http://www.mohssurgery.org/
Canadian Association of Mohs Surgeons http://www.mohssurgery.ca/cams.html
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Narayanan K, Hadid OH, Barnes EA. Mohs micrographic surgery versus surgical excision for periocular basal cell carcinoma. The Cochrane Collaboration website. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab007041.html. Published April 15, 2009. Accessed February 2, 2010.
Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens. Accessed October 20, 2014.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 10/20/2014