Mohs Surgery Long Island
Conveniently located to serve Long Island, Middle Island, and Stony Brook
New treatments for skin cancer are appearing and evolving rapidly in recent years. However, one surgical technique has more than stood the test of time. Developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s, Mohs micrographic surgery has, with a few refinements, come to be embraced over the past decade by an increasing number of surgeons for an ever-widening variety of skin cancers.
Today, Mohs surgery has come to be accepted as the single most effective technique for removing Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (BCCs and SCCs), the two most common skin cancers. Mohs surgery is also effective in treating early Melanoma (specifically lentigo malignant melanoma), which also has a chance of recurrence like BCCs or SCCs.
It accomplishes the nifty trick of sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue around sensitive areas such as the eyes, nose, hands, feet, ears, and genitals, while also most completely expunging cancer cells; cure rates for BCC and SCC are an unparalleled 98 percent or higher with Mohs, significantly better than the rates for standard excision or any other accepted method. An additional benefit is that patients get peace of mind from learning their skin cancer has been removed on the same day of the surgery.
Before Your Procedure
Before undergoing Mohs surgery, acquaint your doctor with your complete medical history, including a list of medications you are currently taking. Your surgeon might ask you to stop certain medications a few days prior to the surgery.
The Mohs Surgery Procedure
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning a patient will be discharged the same day of the surgery. It can take four to six hours for the cancer cells to be removed completely.
The targeted area is anesthetized to ensure patient comfort. The surgeon then removes the exterior tissue with a scalpel. This is the first phase of the surgery. The patient will have to wait for a few hours while the tissue is analyzed in a laboratory. The purpose of the analysis is to find out which section of the tissue has the cancerous cells so that the surgeon can continue the procedure in the same area after returning.
The second phase of the surgery involves the removal of the cancerous section of the tissue in addition to removing an extra layer. The surgeon makes sure the healthy tissues surrounding the affected area remain intact. The removed tissue is analyzed in a laboratory to see if any cancerous cells remain. If more remnants of cancerous cells are present, layers will continue to be removed and tested until no more cancerous cells are found.
Once the procedure is complete, the area is stitched closed and a pressure bandage is placed over the area. In the case of complex surgeries, skin reconstruction may be necessary depending on the location and on the amount of tissue removed.
Aftercare following Mohs surgery involves diligently following your surgeon’s care instructions, especially regarding the cleaning of the wound. Keep the pressure bandage dry for 48 hours. Avoid any physically taxing activities during the recovery process. If the Mohs surgery was performed on your face or an extremity, the surgical site should be kept elevated.
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