Mohs Surgery - Scars

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What is reconstruction? Will I have a scar after Mohs surgery?

Reconstruction is repairing or fixing the wound.

Repairing or closing the wound may involve having your surgeon stitch the wound closed side by side. Sometimes an area may heal best by letting the wound heal by itself naturally without stitches. Additional reconstruction options include using a skin graft or, moving a flap of skin.

Shared decision-making is very important with this issue and it can help if you are involved by reviewing how you prefer to repair the wound. Your Mohs surgeon may make some recommendations on how to close your wound.

The main goal with Mohs surgery is to remove the skin cancer first. Once the cancer is cleared out, then your Mohs surgeon will look at options of how to best fix the area. The goal of Mohs is to clear skin cancer, achieve the smallest scar, and preserve normal tissue.

When you cut the skin, there will be some type of scar. Some people heal easier than others. Some scars are more noticeable depending on the location and skin type.

There are many options for treatment of surgical scars, including lasers, scar creams and gels, cortisone injections, and many other choices depending on the scar. However, do not expect these treatments to completely remove the scar. You may want to discuss ways to help minimize scarring with your doctor at your stitch-removal appointment.

Intra-op wound
Intra-op wound
Sutured wound
Sutured wound
Healed post-op site
Healed post-op site
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Jackie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

This is week 10 after having Mohs procedure done. The doctor left me with an open wound on my back, about a half inch deep and about a 3 inch diameter. I was told leaving the wound open was better than having it sutured. Wrong! Sutures would have been removed in 10 days or so. I still have about a one inch open wound and the pain and drainage continue. All of this for a small basal cell carcinoma. Before anyone even thinks of letting a doctor do this to them, look for an alternative procedure.

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Comment from: Sharon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I recently had Mohs surgery for a very tiny basal cell carcinoma. Even during the procedure, which only needed two passes, the physician's assistant told me the cancer wasn't at all wide. However, they sent me home for two hours after the second pass because the office was closing for lunch and the surgeon didn't have time to close the wound until afterwards. When I came back, he barely re-numbed the skin, hastily cut away to make an oval, and stitched a huge 1 1/2 inch line down the side of my face. The upper corner is all lumpy and twisted. This is for a barely 1/8 inch non-life threatening superficial spot on my face. I don't go out unless I have huge sunglasses or a ton of makeup. My husband is grossed out by the hideous scar. I wish I were dead.

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