Mohs Surgery Aftercare

Posted by Cedars Dermatology, 30th March 2021

Here at Cedars Dermatology, operating in locations such as Elstree, our dermatologists are committed to offering the best patient care possible, and believe our responsibility goes further than the treatment room. We give all our patients aftercare instructions to aid healing and elevate results, and recovering from Mohs surgery is no different. 

In this post, we’ll outline the Mohs surgery procedure, together with ways to help your skin feel comfortable afterwards. 

What is Mohs surgery?

The surgery targets skin cancers that may not be treated through options like radiotherapy alone. Tissue is extracted by a dermatologist and can be examined to check that the cancer has been fully removed. Mohs surgeryhas a higher cure rate than other types of cancer care.

Where can Mohs surgery be carried out?

It’s usually used on areas of the body such as the hands, feet, face and genitals, as these are the places where it’s of greater cosmetic and functional benefit to retain as much tissue as possible.

What side-effects can I expect?

It’s common to experience some mild discomfort, such as swelling and bruising, after the procedure, though this usually passes within 7 days. Swelling may affect some of the surrounding tissues. A cold ice pack can help soothe this. 

Bleeding can occur, but is quite rare. You’ll need to apply pressure to the wound for several minutes to stop this. If the bleeding continues, get in touch with us straight away. 

What things should I avoid?

It’s essential to avoid any high-impact exercise in the first week, which could damage stitches and cause swelling or bleeding. Alcohol and blood-thinning medication (such as aspirin) should also be avoided. Finally, we recommend that you don’t have heat treatments (such as visiting the spa or sauna) to prevent any swelling. 

How long does healing take?

There are two routes you can go down. The first is allowing the skin to heal naturally on its own, especially if the wound is small. The healing process should take around 6 weeks. 

For larger wounds, stitches may be needed. These help to close the wound. Depending on the area that’s been treated, it’s possible that you may need a skin graft to cover the wound. 

Finally, reconstruction may be required in extreme cases – we’ll refer you to the necessary medical experts if this is the case. 

What should I do if I’m concerned?

You should get in touch with our dermatologists as soon as possible, so we can help with your concerns. 

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