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Mohs surgery for skin cancer

Mohs surgery is an effective treatment for two types of skin cancer.

Mohs surgery is a procedure performed in stages to treat skin cancer. It is a highly effective form of skin cancer treatment.

What is mohs surgery?

Also known as mohs micrographic surgery, the precise procedure aims to remove as many cancerous skin layers as possible. Layers of skin are removed in stages after being examined under a microscope.

Mohs surgery is performed by mohs surgery specialists who are highly skilled in carrying out the procedure and are there to answer any questions about it you might have.

Can mohs treat melanoma?

Yes, mohs surgery is a recommended form of skin cancer treatment for melanoma, because it removes layers of cancerous skin tissue in stages, reducing cancerous tissue and the chance of needing future treatment. 

Skin cancer describes the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in your outermost skin layer, which is called the epidermis. This is caused by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations.   

There are several different forms of skin cancer. 

Melanoma skin cancer

This is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs. It starts in cells in the skin called melanocytes. 

Superficial spreading melanoma are the most common type of melanoma in the UK. Melanoma skin cancer is generally considered the most serious of skin cancers and treatment is dependent on the stage of cancer and your general health and wellbeing. 

Common symptoms of melanoma skin cancer include a sudden change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin. 

If you experience this, you must speak with your Consultant who can offer support regarding your diagnosis and treatment. 

Non-melanoma skin cancer

This form of cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It develops in the upper layers of the skin and is generally considered a less severe form of cancer. 

Symptoms include the appearance of a lump or discoloured area that progresses within months. 

Basal cell carcinoma

This form of skin cancer does not usually spread to other organs in your body.  

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) usually presents as a small, shiny pink lump with a “translucent or waxy appearance.” It can also look like a red, scaly patch. 

Squamous cell carcinoma

This kind of lump can feel tender to the touch and bleed easily. 

It may develop into an ulcer.

Mohs surgery is performed by a Consultant. Your Consultant will begin by examining your affected area (the area where you will have had a biopsy). They will then carefully inject local anesthesia into the affected area. 

During the procedure, your doctor will then remove the thin layer of cancerous tissue from your body using a scalpel. This will be examined under a microscope to see whether you need another layer of skin removed. If you do, your Consultant will inject more anesthesia and remove another layer of skin.  

The process is repeated as many times as needed until all cancer cells are removed. 

The wound will likely be repaired with stitches. You might question: 

How long will I stay in hospital for?

The procedure is usually a day procedure, taking place within a one-day visit. 

How should the treated area be cared for when I get home?

After the procedure, scarring from the repaired wound should fade over time. Your Consultant will explain how best to protect your skin with topical ointments to reduce the risk of infection.

Mohs surgery is performed to remove cancers lumps or areas on your skin. 

Who is mohs surgery recommended for?

It is a precise procedure recommended for people with the most common skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as some forms of melanoma cancer. 

What are the benefits of mohs surgery?

If successful, it removes cancerous lumps, which decreases the likelihood of the cancer returning, protecting your future health and wellbeing. 

Do mohs patients have good results?

The surgery is known as a highly effective form of treatment providing excellent results for patients and can reduce the risk of cancer returning.

You can find out more about mohs surgery by making an appointment on 0141 300 5009 or booking online.

Specialists offering Mohs surgery for skin cancer

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