Who May Be Right for Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is thought of as the “gold standard” of skin cancer treatments. That is because it has been shown to cure about 97% of first-time squamous cell skin cancers and 99% of first-time basal cell skin cancers. There are, though, other treatment options to think about before having Mohs surgery.

If you or someone you care about has skin cancer, get all the facts about Mohs before having surgery. Learning all you can about Mohs and why your doctor thinks it is the right choice for you may help you feel less anxious about treatment. Download this guide, Talking About Your Treatment Options, to help you talk with your doctor about:

Factors to consider when deciding on Mohs surgery

Illustration of a hand with a cutting knife

Mohs surgery may be right for you if you…

Illustration of a head with 4 arrows around it pointing in different directions

You may want a different skin cancer treatment if you…

Have skin cancer in a place not easily seen or you do not mind having a scar

Do not want a scar where your skin cancer was

Are able to stop smoking and stop taking certain medicines

Need to keep taking medicines for other health problems

Can handle surgery, do not bleed a lot, and are not at risk for infection

Do not want to go through surgery, are at risk for heavy bleeding or infection, or have a weak immune system

Want the skin cancer gone in one visit and do not mind going back for other visits or treatments to help heal wounds or scars

Do not mind going to more than one appointment to get the results you prefer

Are able to care for the wound after surgery, which may involve changing bandages or putting medicine on the skin by you or a family member or friend

Want little to no wound care after the surgery

Can change your activities or schedule in the weeks after surgery while the wound heals

Want to keep up with your usual activities and schedule during treatment

Had Mohs surgery and are comfortable with the process and results

Have had Mohs surgery and are unhappy with the process or the results

What Are the Risks of Mohs Surgery?

Photo of a skin surgery on a hand

Mohs surgery is generally safe but there are still risks. These include:

  • Infection
  • Nerve damage that usually goes away
  • Bleeding

Mohs surgery will also leave a wound and a scar that needs follow-up care. This could include:

  • Having stitches removed
  • Changing bandages and cleaning the wound
  • Caring for a skin graft or skin flap
  • Having reconstructive or plastic surgery
  • Treatments to help a scar heal

Learn how your treatment team can help you get the best results.

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