While not commonly thought of as a plastic surgery procedure, Moh's reconstruction is used to treat skin cancer while also repairing and remodeling the face simultaneously.
For those who have been diagnosed with skin cancer, Moh's surgery and Moh's reconstruction offer the chance to be cancer-free without disfiguring scars or skin damage—set up a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to see if Moh's surgery is right for you.
What is Moh's Reconstruction?
Moh's surgery is a common surgical procedure for patients with non-melanoma skin cancers, especially on the top of your head and facial region—nearly 80% of skin cancers occur on the head and neck because these areas are hardest to protect from the sun's harsh rays.
Moh's surgery can remove a lot of skin tissue that has been impacted by cancer, and a Moh's Reconstruction surgery can return the skin to its pre-surgery appearance while also helping the skin heal post-surgery.
What are the Benefits of Moh's Reconstruction?
Moh's surgery offers success rates up to 99% and, depending on the severity of your skin cancer, may also require reconstruction to help get your skin and face back to their original looks.
In addition to treating other types of non-melanoma skin cancers, Moh's surgery is used to treat the two most common types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Reconstructive surgery after the removal of skin cancer will help the wound heal with minimal scarring. Depending on your skin cancer and how large an area was removed, your plastic surgeon may do one of the following:
- Take a flap of skin from a nearby body part to help cover the wound
- Use a skin graft to cover the wound
- Let the incision heal on its own
Is Moh's Reconstruction Treatment Right for You?
Moh's reconstruction can be performed on the following:
These are the most common places where skin cancer can form and require treatment. Moh's Reconstruction can help return these areas to health after the removal of any cancerous lesions on the neck, face, and scalp—it's essential to have these lesions treated and removed right away to avoid cancer spreading throughout your body.
What to Expect During a Moh's Reconstruction Procedure
Moh's surgery can require the removal of a large amount of tissue on the face or neck. Reconstruction and repair following cancer removal can also be done to areas that have been impacted.
While Moh's reconstructive procedures can sound intimidating for people that have skin cancer, the procedure has an extremely high cure rate—more than 99% for new cancer and 95% for returning cancers—for all treatments of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
The first step to the Moh's reconstruction process is removing the cancerous tissue. This can include delicately removing large areas of skin from around the tumor or places where unhealthy cells have been detected. The surgeon will try to preserve the maximum amount of healthy tissue while also removing all of the cancerous tissue.
The next step in the process is to rebuild the tissue and close up the wound. The reconstruction part of the surgery might also include some remodeling of the face to allow for the former appearance of the face to be preserved. Fatty tissue might have to be relocated, and skin grafts might also be used in follow-up visits.
Moh's Reconstruction is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Most people will need to plan for four to six weeks of healing time after Moh's Reconstruction has been done. The time that healing takes can vary based on the number of cancerous lesions that were removed and the amount of skin graft work that had to be done.
Getting facial tissue back to a healthy appearance usually does not require remodeling more than once, but skin grafts might need to be applied and cared for over time to complete the healing process.