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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS

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Skin Reconstruction After Mohs Surgery

July 1, 2017, 10:35 pm

Mohs surgery is a treatment for extensive and difficult-to-treat types of skin cancer. Often skin cancer reoccurs, and this is often when Mohs surgery is utilized. The goal is to uproot cancerous tissue surgically. The surgeon tries to ensure that healthy tissue is not damaged during the procedure.

While Mohs surgery can be a potentially lifesaving procedure, it can leave scars. Patients may then want to undergo skin reconstruction surgery to remove the scars left by Mohs surgery and restore a more natural look to the area.

Skin reconstruction surgery can help patients cope with the potential functional and physical impairments caused by Mohs surgery. Often, patients may choose to undergo both surgeries within short intervals of each other, even on the same day.

Choosing a Good Surgeon

When it comes to skin reconstruction, much depends on the skill and experience of the surgeon. An experienced and skilled surgeon can create an even and natural-looking skin surface through reconstruction, removing scars and other defects.

A major goal of reconstructive surgery is to ensure that defects caused by Mohs surgery do not negatively affect your body’s normal functions. Large-scale tissue removal, depending on its location, can even impair the function of facial features such as eyes and lips. In many cases, a surgeon can repair the damage and restore not just natural appearance but also functional aspects of facial features.

What to Expect

First, the region is numbed. Surgeons try to limit the use of anesthesia to local anesthesia for medical safety purposes. It may take anywhere from one hour to several hours to surgically repair the damage caused by Mohs procedure. Some types of complex reconstruction are spread over the course of several surgeries; this depends on the extent of tissue loss and other factors.

Repairing skin after Mohs surgery requires using a skin graft to cover the injured part of the skin. Sometimes, if the injury is not too big, the surgeon can use a small section of skin from the healthy area next to the injury to cover the defect. This ensures a more natural feel and appearance.

Recuperation

Recovering from Mohs surgery is not a long process. Usually, stitches can be removed a few days after surgery. Pain, swelling, and discomfort can be minimized through easily available medications prescribed by the surgeon. Creams may be recommended for helping lighten and treat the scar.

Most patients are concerned about how their skin will look after surgery. Typically, scars should start to fade within a month after surgery. It can take a few months for the scars to lighten considerably.

It is important to protect your skin while it is healing. One of the most important things to remember is sun protection. Depending on the level of recuperation, you may need to avoid strong sunlight for a few days. After that, you must be careful to use sunscreen whenever you are outdoors.

Contact Our Office to Learn More

Experienced and well-respected surgeon Dr. Matt Hlavacek is an excellent choice for your skin reconstruction surgery. For more information regarding this procedure and Mohs surgery, contact our office and set up a consultation.