While treatment of your skin cancer is your primary concern, reconstruction of the treated area is also important. After your Mohs surgeon is confident that all of the cancer has been removed, together you will determine how the wound will be repaired. In addition to removing skin cancer, fellowship-trained Mohs College surgeons have specialized reconstructive surgery training for repairing the wound.
Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer. To learn more about your options, find a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in your area.
Options for Reconstruction
While your surgeon might be able to give you an idea of whether your reconstruction should take place immediately after surgery or be delayed until later, it's impossible to know the extent of the cancer in advance.
After determining that the affected area is cancer-free and reconstruction is necessary, the Mohs surgeon will review skin cancer reconstructive surgery options with you. Depending on the size of the tumor, depth of roots, and location, one of the following options will be selected:
- Small, simple wounds may be allowed to heal by themselves (a process known as secondary-intention healing)
- Slightly larger wounds may be closed with stitches in a side-to-side fashion
- Larger or more complicated wounds may require a skin graft from another area of the body or a flap, which closes the defect with skin adjacent to the wound
- On rare occasions, the patient may be referred to another reconstructive surgical specialist
Your surgeon will arrange post-surgical check-ups after Mohs surgery to monitor your recovery and spot any possible cancer recurrence as soon as possible. Since 2 out of 5 patients with one skin cancer will develop another within 5 years, follow-up is extremely important for early detection of any new lesions.
Learn more about post-operative care.