If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer on your face, you may be concerned about how the surgery will affect you appearance, especially if you've had cancer removed from your arm and been left with a noticeable scar. However, your doctor will do his or her best to minimize disfigurement on your face. Mohs surgery is one way to do this. Here's why Mohs surgery is a good option for skin cancer on the face and what you can expect with the procedure.
Mohs Surgery Removes As Little Tissue As Possible
When cancer is removed routinely, the doctor often takes out a large border of healthy tissue just to make sure no cancer is left behind. This might not always be a good approach when cancer is on the face, and that's one reason Mohs surgery has become a popular option. While Mohs surgery also removes some healthy tissue around the cancer lesion, it does so in a much more precise manner. The tissue that's removed is checked by a lab while you wait so the doctor can be sure all the cancer is gone while removing as little tissue as possible.
Mohs Surgery Is An Outpatient Procedure
Mohs surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure since it is done with a local anesthetic. Since you're not put to sleep, you are able to resume most of your usual activities right away, although you may need to avoid strenuous work and exercise for a couple of days while the area heals. The Mohs procedure isn't uncomfortable since the local anesthetic numbs the area, however, it can be a long process.
Your doctor removes the first sample and sends it to the lab to be tested. Removing the sample just takes a few minutes, but waiting on the lab results can take much longer. It's possible the first surgery is all you'll need. It's also possible that you'll need multiple surgeries until the lab tests come back completely clear. All the procedures are done the same day, so you may have to endure a lot of waiting. The long process is worth it though because it minimizes the scar as much as possible.
Proper Recovery Reduces Risk Of Scars After Surgery
Following your doctor's instructions for care of your wound after the surgery is important. Depending on the depth of your cancer, your wound may have stitches or a skin graft. You should protect the area from the sun and keep it covered initially to keep it from drying out. You may need to avoid getting it wet in the shower for a day or two. Although you may feel fine, resting is important because physical exertion may interfere with proper wound healing.
If you do experience pain and swelling, you can probably get relief with ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers. Taking care of your wound as directed is important for preventing infections and for allowing the wound to heal with the smallest scar. For more information, visit websites like http://www.eastcarolinadermatology.com.
After spending years wondering if I would ever be able to shake a serious skin condition, I finally realized that there had to be something I could do. I began talking with a professional dermatologist about the problem, and it was really interesting to me to see just how much help he was. He walked through all of the various treatments with me and how they would affect my condition, and before I knew it, I was enjoying cleaner, more beautiful skin. I began writing this blog a few years ago in order to help other people around me to live a better life. Check it out!