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The Mohs Procedure


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How to know what to expect when you're diagnosed with skin cancer: Explanation of the Moh's Procedure

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, don't panic. Here is an article about what to expect after the diagnosis. It is clear, and honest.

Follow the doctor's instructions to the letter. He really knows what's best for you under these circumstances, and there are reasons for every instruction you receive. The instructions given are meant to prepare you for the procedure and to help you heal faster when it's over.

The Moh's procedure was developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs. This is the technique that is most commonly used skin cancer removal procedure used worldwide.

You register at the outpatient facility on the day of the surgery. You will need to bring a friend or family member to help you.

You will be taken to a room with a dentist's style chair. The chair lays back and rises up at the doctor's control.

Once you are comfortable, the doctor uses the tiniest needle to numb the affected area. He uses a local anesthesia.

Once numb, he cuts a very small sliver of skin from the affected area. He sends you back to the waiting room and sends the sample to pathology.

If pathology finds cancerous cells on the cut line, you go back to the chair, get the local anesthesia again, and he repeats the procedure.

This continues until pathology can find no cancerous cells on the cut line.

Once no bad cells are found, you are able to go home.

In the first 48 hours after surgery, you will already need to have peas and rice; yes, I said peas and rice. Let me explain;

Frozen peas in a small zip lock baggie are the perfect size to use on the incision site. They are flexible enough to be comfortable, and can the thrown back into the freezer as many times as necessary, and re-used. You will need to use ice packs for the first 48 hours, about 30 minutes out of each hour to reduce swelling.

Rice: Pour some rice into a couple of clean socks. About 1 and a half cups of rice is plenty. Tie the sock shut near the top of the rice. After the first 48 hours, you will need to change from ice packs to hot compresses. Microwave the rice filled socks about 30 seconds at a time, kneading them in between, until they are warm/hot throughout.

  • Always talk to your doctor about your medical advice.
  • Swelling and bruising can last up to weeks.
  • Nothing you find on here is to replace your doctor's advice.

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