If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need effective treatment. And there’s usually nothing more effective than Mohs surgery.
This specialized procedure gradually removes cancerous cells, layer by layer, until all of the cancer is gone. This method removes the cancer and leaves as much healthy tissue as possible. When used to treat the most common forms of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — it brings a 99% cure rate.
Ali Hendi, MD, has performed more than 14,000 Mohs surgeries. He and his dedicated team of professionals in Chevy Chase, Maryland, are pleased to provide this highly effective skin cancer treatment. In this blog, Dr. Hendi explains how you can have a smooth recovery after Mohs surgery.
During and immediately after Mohs surgery
During Mohs surgery, Dr. Hendi removes a thin layer of tissue and inspects it under a microscope. If he detects cancer cells, then he removes another thin layer and checks it, too. He keeps removing layers until no more cancer cells are detected.
He is generally able to remove all of the cancer in three passes or fewer. While each pass usually takes 10-15 minutes, it may take an hour or two until Dr. Hendi is able to examine the newly removed layer. In between removal rounds, you can relax in the waiting room.
Following the last stage of tissue examination, Dr. Hendi might close the surgery site with stitches or a skin flap or graft. Alternatively, he may leave it open, depending on your safety, health, and likely cosmetic outcome.
From there, you can return home, where you should rest for the remainder of your day. Barring any need for sedation, many patients are permitted to drive themselves home if needed.
Tips for a smooth recovery after Mohs surgery
Because Mohs surgery is minimally invasive, this should help you have as smooth a recovery as possible. You won’t have to worry about intense pain or other risks associated with large incisions, for example.
Still, it’s important to follow Dr. Hendi’s post-operative instructions. While each patient is unique, he may recommend:
- Taking Tylenol for any mild-to-moderate discomfort
- Applying an ice pack for 20 minutes per hour during your waking hours for two days
- Keeping the provided bandage dry and in place for 24 hours
- Avoiding intense exercise for one week
- Staying on top of follow-up appointments
If you have sutures, Dr. Hendi will likely remove them about 10 days after your procedure.
Moving forward, you may benefit from routine skin cancer surveillance to check for cancerous and precancerous cells. While Mohs surgery guards against recurrence at the site, having a history of skin cancer is a risk factor for developing skin cancer later.
To learn more about recovering from Mohs surgery or to get evaluated or treated, call 301-812-4591 or book an appointment online with the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, today.