Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

I'm Nervous About Mohs Surgery

I'm Nervous About Mohs Surgery

Perfect skin can be a dream come true, but your skin can be vulnerable to spots that aren’t just moles. Keeping your skin healthy means watching it for new marks and growths and staying consistent with the recommended cancer screenings for your age group. If you develop skin cancer, seeking prompt treatment is key.

Several treatments are available for skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that Mohs surgery is 99% effective against certain skin cancers when used on previously untreated cases.

Daphne Panagotacos, MD, Inc, leads our staff of medical and aesthetic professionals in Westlake Village, California. A medical professional with over a decade of experience, Dr. Panagotacos performs each Mohs surgery with the care and precision needed to save your skin. If you’re getting nervous about your procedure, there’s much more to look forward to than there is to fear. 

What’s Mohs surgery?

While researchers may not have found a cure for cancer, they’ve found very effective treatments. Mohs surgery was first referred to as “chemosurgery” when it was created in 1933. As technology became more sophisticated, so did the procedure. 

Mohs surgery is used to treat basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). With over 5.4 million combined cases every year, these are very common and treatable types of skin cancers. As with any disease, early detection and treatment are essential to stopping the progression. Fortunately, both types of cancers have low fatality rates. 

Where do these cancers come from?

BCC starts in the second layer of your skin. It is the most common type of skin cancer, comprising about 80% of new diagnoses. It usually occurs on areas of your body that have significant daily sun exposure — your head, neck, face, lips, and the back of your hands.

SCC starts in the top-most layer of skin and typically affects the same areas of your skin as BCC. This type of cancer may present itself in scars or chronic sores on different parts of your body. SCC is more likely to grow to other parts of the body than BCC, but both conditions should be handled promptly.

What’s Mohs surgery like?

If Dr. Panagotacos determines that you’re a good candidate for Mohs Surgery, we work with you to schedule a date and time for your treatment.

Depending on the type of cancer you have, and where on your body you’re affected, our team may have you change into a hospital gown. After making sure you’re comfortable, Dr. Panagotacos provides a local anesthetic to stop any discomfort that could arise during the procedure. You’re awake, aware, and able to understand.

Mohs surgery consists of a series of very thin excisions. Dr. Panagotacos carefully removes a layer from the affected area of skin. She then dissects and examines the skin sample, noting where cancerous cells exist to help guide him in where to remove the next layer of tissue. Carving out thin layers results in the removal of the least amount of healthy tissue, preserving your skin and minimizing scarring.

After removing all of your cancerous skin, Dr. Panagotacos closes your open wounds with sutures. However, not every case requires sutures. We give you aftercare instructions immediately following your procedure. Follow-up procedures are only needed if your cancer comes back. 

What’s recovery like?

For the first couple of days after your procedure, you may feel fatigued. Dr. Panagotacos instructs you on how long to keep on any bandages, but you can usually remove them after 48 hours. Dr. Panagotacos prescribes pain medication as necessary. If you need extensive cancerous tissue removed, you’ll experience a longer recovery time.

Part of recovery is remembering that even after successful removal, cancer can return. Be sure to get regular skin cancer screenings, and make an appointment with us if you have any unusual new growths.

Caring for your skin

Protecting your skin isn’t simply about preventing the signs of aging. While decreasing your chances for fine lines and wrinkles is important, preventing cancer is essential for your overall health. Use sunscreen daily, protect your eye area with sunglasses and hats, and avoid spending longer than a few minutes at a time in the sun, especially between 10am and 2pm. 

Dr. Panagotacos and her team is ready and able to assist you with all of your skin care needs. We understand you may be nervous about Mohs surgery, but we’ve had extensive experience and can help you through your cancer treatment. Call us today for a consultation, or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Yes, You Can Remove Hair There

Tired of plucking, shaving, and waxing? Laser hair removal can get rid of body hair once and for all, in areas great or small. If you want to enjoy silky smooth, hair-free skin, here’s what you should know.

Cystic Acne: What Is It and How Do You Get Rid of It?

Acne can affect your physical and emotional health, and if it leaves scars behind, it can be even more devastating. Many scars are due to a severe type of acne called cystic acne. Read on to learn what it is and how you can treat and prevent it.
Is There a Cure for Rosacea?

Is There a Cure for Rosacea?

Living with rosacea can cause frustration and impact self-confidence. But you can do something about it, and a skilled dermatologist can help. Effective treatments can reduce the signs of rosacea and improve the skin’s appearance.
Why You Should Consider Combining Botox® and Fillers

Why You Should Consider Combining Botox® and Fillers

You don’t have to choose between adding volume and erasing lines. Many people know about the benefits of Botox® and dermal fillers, but did you know you can combine the treatments? Learn more about how these injectables work together.