Mohs surgery is the preferred technique for removal of two of the most common forms of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
The single outpatient procedure removes one layer of tissue at a time and places it under a microscope to look for cancerous cells.
While many patients feel comforted by the procedure’s minimally-invasive nature and high success rate, some admit to worrying about discomfort during treatment. More specifically, they want to know: Is Mohs painful?
Continue reading to learn what patients can expect from Mohs surgery should they decide to undergo treatment.
The Goals of Mohs
Mohs is performed with two goals in mind. The first is to cure the patient, which is something that Mohs does extremely well.
In fact, the procedure has the highest cure rate (up to 99 percent) for skin cancer that has not been previously treated. Mohs is also designed to spare the greatest amount of healthy tissue and avoid scarring.
Accordingly, Mohs is both a therapeutic and restorative procedure.
What Can Patients Expect from Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery involves numbing the targeted area with a local anesthetic in order to extract a sample of the tumor. The removal takes a matter of minutes, and then the specimen is sent to pathology.
In the lab, the tissue is viewed under a microscope in order to identify any cancerous cells. If the pathologist doesn’t note any cancerous cells, the procedure can conclude. This is the case for 40-50 percent of patients.
However, if cancerous cells are present, the process must be repeated until clean margins are achieved.
Is Mohs Painful?
Prior to treatment, patients often ask: Is Mohs painful? Following their procedure, many of these individuals admit that they were surprised by how easy and comfortable it was.
In fact, the most sensitive part of Mohs surgery is the injection of a local anesthetic, which may feel like a slight pinch or pin-pricking sensation. Patients may also note some mild pressure as the sample is removed from the lesion.
Other than that, Mohs is a virtually painless process, with an excellent cure rate and positive cosmetic outcomes.
Learn More About Mohs Surgery
If you would like to learn more about Mohs, please call our office today to schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Johnathan Chappell, MD.