There isn’t a standard answer, as Mohs is unique for each patient. We still wished to set aside the concern that you are likely to be involved for many hours, in and out of surgery.
You can see a summary of relevant research on the number of sections taken during Mohs surgery. From a substantial number of procedures, this offers an average of 1.74, which for practical purposes can be taken as 2.
This would mean preparing for surgery, session one, possibly an hour between sessions, then a final session plus wound closure. The area would be dressed and once you feel happy to do so, you are ready to leave.
Less than half a working day would be involved, which is quite normal. There can be cases where 1 session is sufficient, or 3, or even 4 needed but the latter is unusual.
If more complex reconstruction is required, perhaps by a specialist plastic, or ocuplastic surgeon, this will usually take place within a day or two.
The research above points out that finding a Mohs surgeon who is experienced, well qualified and part of a multi disciplinary facility can matter. We would agree, any complex medical procedure deserves the right team.
They still need to value the balance Mohs offers, minimal cosmetic damage against complete removal of cancerous cells. There can be no pre-operative guarantee of session numbers, although experience tends to achieve a good balance.
Being an operation under local anaesthetic also helps with quick recovery, as does a relatively low level of disturbance, or discomfort.
Research on the safety of Mohs is worth considering. This covered 1550 patients and found few major complications during surgery, or reconstruction, along with a post operative pain level of 2 out of 10, quite manageable.
Mohs Surgery is long past the stage of being a rare treatment, now widely practiced in a number of countries, including the USA, Australia and the UK. Mohs also forms a key part of the NICE guidelines for skin cancer management.
Research and improvement still take place, as they should for any advanced procedure. Mohs surgery has featured in research, separately and in conjunction with other modern techniques, such as laser surgery.
An alternative name for Mohs is margin controlled excision. Any safe advances made in controlling margins, such as improved microscopy are welcome.
Our team are at the forefront of Mohs surgery and alongside a good outcome, they focus on patient comfort. We hope this information has helped to explain that Mohs is not generally a lengthy, or arduous procedure.