Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery In London
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Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Introduction To Mohs

The video provides a brief overview of Mohs and shows procedures which are often used for closing Mohs defects after surgery.

Mohs is a surgical technique for precision treatment of skin cancers. Thin layers of tissue are removed and analysed, until only cancer free tissue remains. This brings medical success and minimal cosmetic damage.

The aesthetic benefits make Mohs surgery well suited to skin cancers in the face, or neck. As do high cure rates, from an approach refined by specialists over time.

A core difference between Mohs and normal excision is that Mohs adds lab analysis to each area of tissue removed. Carried out during surgery, rather than the sample being a biopsy to be sent elsewhere.

There is a less used version known as “slow Mohs” which can have longer separation between stages but even then, the procedure is more immediate and cohesive.

Surgical Procedure

You will be treated by a consultant surgeon trained in Mohs surgery, pathology and reconstructive surgery. They may draw guide marks to highlight the lesion, before injecting you with a local anaesthetic.

The surgeon will remove a layer of cancerous tissue. Your wound will then be temporarily dressed and you take a break in a waiting area, whilst the surgeon colour codes the tissue, to create an orientation map.

A technician will freeze the tissue, ready to be cut into thin sections and placed on slides. These are examined under a microscope by the surgeon, to see if cancer cells remain.

If any exist, they are pinpointed on the map and you return to the operating room. Further anesthetic may not be needed but can be applied, before precise removal of another tissue layer, only where cancer cells remain.

The process is repeated, generally not many times, until the margins of the last removed tissue sample are completely cancer free. The wound will then normally be closed with stitches.

Post Operative Support

Mohs micrographic surgeons are skilled in reconstruction. In cases where the wound requires more than stitches, they can take care of aesthetic needs with a skin flap technique, or a skin graft.

In unusual cases, one of our plastic surgeon may implement reconstruction or closure. After that, your wound will be dressed and a complete explanation given on how to take care of the incision.

If a few rounds of surgery are required, the procedure may have taken several hours, although each round is not too intensive and conducted under local anaesthetic.

Regular breaks will have helped and we offer facilities for rest after surgery but you will soon be able to return home, with your cancer in the past.

The procedure offers remarkable medical value, 100% of the tissue margins will have been examined with a microscope. Just cancer free tissue remains, with minimal tissue loss and reduced scarring.

If you would like to find out more about how Mohs surgery can help in individual cases, please talk to our friendly staff at any time.