Creating the Ideal Closure Following Mohs Surgery
Unfortunately, skin cancer is becoming more and more common, and we see evidence of this fact every day with the number of patient referrals we have for reconstructive surgery following skin cancer removal. When a skin cancer (normally a basal or squamous cell carcinoma) is located on the patient’s face or neck, making sure the physical appearance of the closure is of utmost importance. Many times, Mohs surgeons will refer the patient to a facial plastic surgeon to perform the closure when the patient is especially concerned with the final outcome, and when the surgery is not expected to be quick or simple.
We have several patients who are sent to our office every week for closures following Mohs skin cancer surgery. Mohs surgery sometimes requires multiple passes if the skin cancer is extensive. During Mohs surgery, a precise margin around the skin cancer “defect” is surgically removed, and the tissue sample is examined under a microscope to ensure all of the cancer has been removed. If it is found that the cancer extends outside of the margins, another “pass” is needed to remove more tissue. Due to the nature of the surgery, many times when the patient begins the surgery, the extent of the skin cancer is not fully known and can only be confirmed by looking under the microscope. This is a primary reason why Mohs surgery has such a high success rate.
When a patient requires multiple passes during Mohs surgery, the defect becomes larger and more extensive. This will also mean that the closure procedure will be more extensive, and often times patients opt to have a facial plastic surgeon perform the closure if the surgery is on the face or neck. Sometimes patients are sent to our office the same day as their Mohs surgery while other times they schedule a consultation prior to their surgery. The Mohs surgeons we work with educate their patients about the closure options, and patients will ultimately make the decision of how they want the closure to be handled.
We specialize in closures for skin cancer surgery at Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, as we perform hundreds of surgeries every year. Currently, our clinic has one of the highest volumes of skin cancer reconstructive surgery in the country. We are happy to take patients the same day as their Mohs surgery, or consult with them prior to their surgery, if this is possible. Patients can feel confident in our ability to deliver exceptional results and create the best possible outcome with the closure procedure.
Post Provided by Benjamin Stong MD