According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with an estimated 106,110 new cases of invasive melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer) diagnosed in 2021 alone. Additionally, non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are even more common, with an estimated 5.4 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States.
The main risk factor for skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Other risk factors include having fair skin, a history of sunburns, a weakened immune system, and a family history of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique used to remove skin cancer by layering the tumor and removing one layer at a time until all cancer cells are removed. After the cancerous cells are removed, the resulting wound or defect may be significant, and experienced plastic surgeons repair the wound and restore the function and appearance of the affected area.
Why Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a popular approach to removing skin cancer cells in cosmetically sensitive areas. Benefits of Mohs surgery include potentially smaller wounds and preservation of adjacent tissue.
What to Expect
Your plastic surgeon will carefully examine the wound and determine the best course of action for reconstruction. Depending on the location and size of the defect, various reconstructive techniques may be used, including skin grafts, flaps, and tissue expansion.
Skin grafts involve taking healthy skin from another area of the body and transplanting it onto the wound to cover and close the defect. Flap reconstruction involves transferring skin and underlying tissue from an adjacent area to the wound site to restore the contour and appearance of the area. Tissue expansion involves placing a balloon-like device under the skin near the wound site and gradually inflating it over time to stretch the skin and create new tissue that can be used to cover the defect.
Our plastic surgeons have many highly effective technique for repairing skin defects after Mohs surgery, and it can greatly improve cosmetic outcomes and overall quality of life for patients.
Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.