Areas of missing tissue following Mohs excision of skin cancers can come in many shapes and forms. There are a number of techniques and procedures available depending on which areas of the face (or other areas of the body) have been affected. In general, wounds can be allowed to heal on their own, can be closed with skin grafts, or may be closed using flaps of skin from adjoining or other areas. Dr. Warner will evaluate the area following Mohs excision and discuss options with you to determine a final reconstructive plan. Some plans may require more than one surgery to complete your reconstruction.
Local or general
Length of surgery
30 minutes to 2 hours
Length of stay
Outpatient (home the same day) typically, may require an overnight stay in the hospital depending on the complexity involved.
Back to work
3 to 7 days
Mild to moderate
Common, generally resolves within 7-10 days
Depending on the complexity of your situation, reconstructive options may involve one procedure or may take several procedures to achieve a final result. Your surgeon will help you develop a plan and discuss this with you in more detail during your consultation.
Why do I need Mohs surgery to remove my skin cancer?
Mohs surgical excision of skin cancers is the most effective way of surgically removing these lesions with the lowest recurrence rate. Additionally, Mohs surgery will only remove the bad cells that need to be removed, sparing good cells around it. When it comes to skin cancers on the face, there is no room to be removing vitally good tissue.
Will my procedure be performed in the office or in the hospital?
The location of your procedure will depend on the size of the defect after Mohs surgery, and also the patient’s ability to tolerate a procedure in the office. Most defects are closed in Dr. Warner’s state-of-the-art office procedure setting. This generally allows wounds to be closed very quickly – often on the same day as the Mohs procedure. However, some wounds that are larger or more complex may require closure in the operating room, with some light sedation or full general anesthesia. Dr. Warner will discuss your options with you and develop a plan based on your needs.
Will I ever look normal again?
While skin cancer is rarely life-threatening, it can produce a tremendous amount of anxiety, especially when it’s on the face. Most patients are worried about what they will look like after Mohs surgery and reconstruction of the defects following Mohs surgery. While it certainly takes time for the body to heal, and may put a stress on work life and personal life, reconstruction of facial defects after Mohs surgery generally results in exceptional outcomes. While you may never look “exactly” the same as you did before the skin cancer was removed, Dr. Warner will do everything possible to get you looking very normal again, and as close to your original state as possible. Just knowing that Dr. Warner and his staff are with you every step of the way will reassure you that you will get back to normal as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please come in and speak with us and we can help you with the entire process.