Mohs surgery is widely accepted as the most effective technique for the treatment of certain skin cancers. However, it can leave behind large, gaping holes in the skin where cancerous tissues were removed. These gaps – known as Mohs defects – can be unsightly and a source of insecurity for many patients. In some cases, a dermatologist can repair a Mohs immediately after removing the cancerous tissues. In others, the wound is too large or otherwise located in a cosmetically sensitive area requiring the skill of a reconstructive plastic surgeon.
Types of Mohs Reconstructive Surgery
There are three primary types of reconstructive surgery used to treat Mohs defects. The type chosen for each patient is dependent upon the size and location of the defect, as well as its depth.
This type of reconstructive surgery is used in patients with very shallow Mohs defects. During a skin grafting procedure, skin is taken from a donor site on the patient’s own body and transplanted into the defect. The donor site is then sutured shut, leaving minimal scarring.
This is used on relatively small treatment areas in which the sides of the defect can be sutured together without adversely affecting the appearance of surrounding structures, such as the eyes, nose or mouth.
Local Flap Closure
For large defects or those located next to cosmetically sensitive areas, skin surrounding the wound may be taken from adjacent healthy tissues and rotated to cover and heal the treatment area.
What to Expect from Mohs Reconstruction
Mohs reconstruction may be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure depending on the type, extent, and complexity of treatment. It is typically performed using local anesthetic and sedation to ensure patient comfort. Most reconstructive surgeries are completed in a single procedure, though more complex cases may require multiple procedures.
Fortunately, the benefits of Mohs reconstruction are permanent. Though every patient is different, it is possible to undergo reconstructive surgery that leaves minimal and sometimes undetectable scarring once the surgical site has healed.
Mohs reconstruction may not be for everyone. Sometimes patients prefer that a wound heal on its own without cosmetic intervention. Many, however, wish to restore their appearance to a pre-surgical state. If you are embarrassed or bothered by the appearance of your Mohs defect, contact our office to schedule a consultation and find out if Mohs reconstruction could be right for you. We look forward to serving you soon.