How To Prepare For Mohs Surgery
The scars that adorn our bodies tell a story. Some reveal tales of courage and adventure. Others remind us of our most foolish decisions. Your Mohs surgery scar may be a mark of survival, but that doesn’t mean you want it to be seen. Luckily, there are a variety of resources that can assist you in treating your Mohs surgery scar.
But first, let’s get acquainted with what Mohs surgery is.
Mohs surgery is the most effective surgical technique for treating skin cancer. The process involves precise removal of all layers of cancerous tissue with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy cells.
Who Needs Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is typically used to treat two of the most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In recent years, the procedure has also been used more and more as an alternative to excision surgery for patients with melanoma.
Mohs is best for people with cancers that:
- Are bigger and spread quickly.
- Have a higher tendency to return.
- Show up in places such as the face, feet, and genitals where tissue needs to be retained.
- Are widely dispersed.
How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take?
The length of the procedure varies for each patient based on how many cancerous spots are being treated, their location, and the severity of the cancer. If the area being treated for skin cancer is larger, then it could take several hours. It is best to clear your schedule to ensure a proper amount of time for the surgery.
What Is Mohs Recovery Time Like?
As far as surgeries go, recovery for Mohs is fairly easy. The surgery is an outpatient procedure, which can shorten the patient’s recovery time significantly depending on the area that was treated. Typically, most patients are back to their day-to-day life within 24 to 48 hours.
Does Mohs Cause Scarring?
Once the cancerous cells have been surgically removed, many patients find themselves with scarring of some kind, whether it’s minimal or severe. Following proper wound care tips during the healing process is crucial in minimizing your risk of post-procedure scarring.
How To Take Care of Your Mohs Wound
- Cover the wound with a dressing to keep it dry and prevent infection or blood clots.
- Properly clean your wound according to the instructions given by your surgeon.
- Use icepacks to reduce swelling and redness.
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Follow your doctor’s orders during your entire recovery.
When To Start Scar Management
After your wound has healed and closed up, there are a few different ways you can go about your Mohs scar treatment.
Method # 1: The first technique you can use is silicone sheeting. The most significant aspect of this solution is its ability to help soften and flatten the scar.
Method # 2: The second approach that we recommend is a silicone scar gel. This is a topical solution that forms a clear layer of silicone on top of the scar after drying. You can use this 2-3 times a day to enhance the natural healing process, and it’s particularly useful for scarring that’s in more visible places like on your face.
Method # 3: For long-term scar management, we suggest you use a quality scar cream. If you have any issues with discoloration, creams can help to improve the color of the scar. This can take up to 30-45 days to see improvement.
Bonus: For patients who are serious about healing their Mohs surgery scar quickly and want the most comprehensive solution, our Scar Heal Kit incorporates all three of these scar management methods. This allows you to use the Scar FX Silicone Scar Sheet at night and the RejuvaSil Silicone Scar Gel during the day, combining the two products for faster and more effective results. Our management system also also includes Scar Esthetique Silicone Scar Cream that can be used to diminish the appearance of scarring over an extended period of time.
The Bottom Line
The most important points you need to remember during your Mohs scar healing process are to be proactive and follow your doctor’s orders. If you take these steps, you are on the right path to effective long-term scar management.