RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
As with any surgical procedure, Mohs surgery carries the risk of:
- Bleeding from the wound
- Bleeding into the wound (hematoma)
- Pain or tenderness around the surgical site
Your surgeon may recommend pain relievers after the procedure to help manage any pain. Infection is uncommon but can usually be treated with oral antibiotics.
Other complications that may result from Mohs surgery are uncommon but may include:
- Temporary or permanent numbness surrounding the surgical area, if small nerve endings are cut
- Temporary or permanent weakness of the surgical area, if the tumor is large and a muscle nerve is severed
- Itching or shooting pain in the affected area
- An enlarged scar (keloid)
- Robinson JK, et al. Surgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:711.
- Benedetto PX, et al. Mohs micrographic surgery technique. Dermatologic Clinics. 2011;29:141.
- Nehal K, et al. Mohs surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Mosterd K, et al. Surgical excision versus Mohs' micrographic surgery for primary and recurrent basal-cell carcinoma of the face: A prospective randomised controlled trial with 5-years' follow-up. Lancet Oncology. 2008;9:1149.
- Tierney EP, et al. Recent changes in the workforce and practice of dermatologic surgery. Dermatologic Surgery. 2009;35:413.
- Murphy ME, et al. Errors in the interpretation of Mohs histopathology sections over a 1-year fellowship. Dermatologic Surgery. 2008;34:1637.
- Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Important patient information regarding Mohs micrographic surgery in the treatment of skin cancer. American Society for Mohs Surgery. http://www.mohssurgery.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3335. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 19, 2012.