Mohs Recovery: What to Expect
- Posted on: Jan 15 2020
Mohs skin cancer surgery has become well-known in recent years, though the innovative technique was first developed more than half a century ago. Based on numerous studies, Mohs demonstrates some of the highest cure rates in medical history. This is because the technique involves the immediate examination of tissue. By accurately mapping skin cancer cells for removal, Mohs micrographic surgery also preserves the greatest amount of healthy tissue. As more people are hearing about this skin cancer treatment, more people are wondering about recovery from Mohs. We’ll discuss what to expect here.
The Timeline of Mohs Recovery
- 24 to 48 hours. Mohs patients can expect to encounter moderate discomfort the first day after their procedure. Comfort can typically be well-managed with a recommended over-the-counter pain reliever. Ask your surgeon about applying an ice pack over the surgical dressing, as well. This remedy may be appropriate for short periods. During this initial phase of recovery, slight oozing or bleeding may occur. The wound must be kept dry for 24 to 48 hours.
- Days 2 to 3, light activities may be resumed. The surgical dressing may be able to be removed at this time, as well.
- Days 5 to 10, swelling and bruising should markedly improve. Most patients return to work within a week to 10 days. If sutures are used to repair tissue, they may be removed approximately 7 days after surgery.
- Days 7 to 14, patients should see full resolution of swelling and bruising. At this time, exercise and more strenuous activity may be resumed.
- 4 to 6 weeks after Mohs, tissue is usually healed very nicely. This may vary depending on the size of the surgical wound. Redness from the surgical incision may continue to be visible and is expected to fade gradually over a few months.
While Mohs surgery is predictable, recovery is less-so. The timeline of recovery can vary based on each patient’s natural healing response and the size and location of the wound. Following all post-surgical wound care instructions can facilitate optimal tissue repair.
Posted in: Mohs