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How is Mohs surgery done?

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Mohs surgery is done in an operating room or office with a nearby lab. That way, the surgeon can easily examine the tissue once it’s removed. The surgery usually lasts about 4 hours, and you’ll go home the same day. That said, it can last longer, so set aside the whole day for it.

Before your surgery, a doctor or nurse will clean the affected area. They’ll then use a special pen to outline it and inject your skin with medicine so you won’t feel any pain.

The surgeon will remove the visible part of your cancer with a scalpel. She’ll also remove a thin layer of tissue under the visible tumor and put on a temporary bandage. The tissue will then be taken to the lab to be looked at under a microscope. If there’s still cancer, more layers will be removed, one at a time, until no more cancer can be seen.

Cutting away the skin might take just a few minutes, but the analysis can take much longer, maybe up to an hour. You may want to bring a snack to eat or something to read to help pass the time.

From: What Is Mohs Surgery? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Mohs surgery.”

American College of Mohs Surgery: “History of Mohs Surgery,” “Post-Operative Care.”

University of Chicago, Section of Dermatology: “Mohs surgery: Questions and Answers Regarding Your Procedure.”

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Mohs surgery.”

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: “Mohs surgery.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Mohs surgery.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on February 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Mohs surgery.”

American College of Mohs Surgery: “History of Mohs Surgery,” “Post-Operative Care.”

University of Chicago, Section of Dermatology: “Mohs surgery: Questions and Answers Regarding Your Procedure.”

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Mohs surgery.”

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: “Mohs surgery.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Mohs surgery.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on February 15, 2017

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