A very common question from patients concerning Mohs Surgery is “Will I need reconstruction surgery?”

Dr. Bryce Cowan explains why reconstruction surgery is necessary to optimize the final outcome, and outlines the process and importance of this with some examples.

Reconstruction surgery is an essential part of every mohs surgery case. Sometimes this comes as a surprise to patients if they haven’t undergone any other surgical procedure. In mohs surgery, reconstruction is required as most of the cases are large and or aggressively growing cancers. In these cases a large part of the cancer is hidden from the naked eye. Often the visible part of the cancer is only the tip of the iceberg. How involved the reconstruction is, depends on the size and location of the site.

One of the principles of plastic surgery is to replace like with like tissue. Adjacent areas are taken to replace the wound site. Sometimes tissues are grafted and transferred from other areas. In areas like the eyelid or the nose where function is important. In these cases, multiple surgical procedures are required, and these cases may become more complicated, however, these are done to optimize the outcome of the reconstruction. In the end, all patients will require a reconstruction, and patients should expect some scarring in most cases.

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