Mohs Surgery Wounds: How to Manage Recovery

Mohs Surgery Scars

Mohs micrographic surgery has become the gold standard in skin cancer removal. This technique is preferred by many patients who require treatment for basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. One reason is that this process, though it takes longer than standard excision, confirms full cancer removal during a single office visit. During Mohs, the surgeon removes a layer of tissue and examines it under a microscope. This process is repeated until no cancer cells are visible in the specimen. Another reason Mohs is a preferred treatment is that the meticulous removal of multiple layers of tissue results in the smallest possible scar. How the resulting wound looks are dependent on the size, depth, and location of the lesion. Aftercare also matters.  

Addressing Mohs Surgery Wounds

The objective of any form of cancer removal is to eliminate diseased cells. Aesthetic value is secondary but a detail we understand as vitally important. As much as possible, Mohs is performed to prevent the need for reconstruction. The majority of patients can heal nicely with a few stitches or a dressing over the wound. In any case, home care instructions should be carefully followed.

Home Care after Mohs Surgery

  • Surgical discomfort can be managed with acetaminophen. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Pain medication may also be prescribed. Taking medication as directed, before discomfort occurs, can prevent unnecessary stress.
  • Swelling and bruising are inherent side effects of even minor surgical procedures. After Mohs surgery, ice may be applied for twenty minutes, several times a day. As is possible, the surgical area should also be elevated several times a day.
  • Bleeding usually stops shortly after the Mohs procedure. The bandage placed over the wound may display a small amount of blood or yellowish interstitial fluid. If bleeding is noticeable, apply firm pressure for 20 minutes. If it persists or recurs, contact our office.
  • Wound care instructions must be carefully followed. The wound must be kept completely dry for 24 to 48 hours after Mohs surgery. Baths and swimming must be avoided until stitches have been removed. After the bandage is removed, the wound must be cleaned daily as directed. An ointment may also be applied before re-applying a fresh bandage.

Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center offers Mohs surgery as a conservative option for treating skin cancer. Call 201.836.9696 to schedule a consultation at our Teaneck, NJ office.

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870 Palisade Avenue | Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: 201.836.9696 | Fax: 201.836.4716