MOHs Reconstruction

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MOHs Surgery and Reconstruction in Riverton

Every day, over 9,500 people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in the United States, and approximately twenty percent of Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. While these numbers are startling, it is encouraging to know that medical procedures that treat and cure skin cancer, such as Mohs surgery, are increasingly refined and effective.

Dr. Derrick Gale, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, offers Mohs surgery and Mohs reconstruction surgery from his practice in the ENT Center of Utah. Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to specifically target skin cancers and leave as much of the surrounding tissue intact as possible. Mohs reconstructive surgery aims to repair and cosmetically enhance the tissues altered by Mohs surgery.

To learn more about MOHs surgery in Salt Lake City and Riverton, UT, continue reading or schedule a consultation with Dr. Gale today.

Meet Dr. Derrick Gale, MD

Customized Consultations, Individualized Results

With a focus on improving both form and function, Dr. Gale applies experienced aesthetic judgment and surgical expertise to achieve each patient’s individual cosmetic and functional goals. While delivering the highest level of care and expertise, Dr. Gale and his team maintain a down-to-earth and comfortable atmosphere to put you at ease. 

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a highly refined surgical technique used to remove cancerous growths in the skin.

Initially developed by general surgeon Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930s, the microscopic procedure involves methodically examining and removing skin cells that form the cancerous growth, until only cancer-free tissue is left.

The concept has remained relatively the same since the 1930s. However, the tools and technology have evolved such that the procedure is far more precise – the goal being to eliminate cancerous cells while leaving the healthy cells untouched.

Dr. Gale also offers Mohs reconstructive surgery, which cosmetically improves the areas impacted by Mohs surgery. Whether Dr. Gale reconstructs one of his own Mohs patients or someone who has had previous Mohs surgery elsewhere, he will do everything he can to correct each patient’s condition aesthetically.

What are the Benefits of Mohs Surgery and Mohs Surgery Reconstruction?

Mohs surgery includes two substantial benefits over the standard “local excision” cancer treatment:

  • Surgeons can verify that all cancerous tissue has been removed at the time of surgery
  • Healthy skin tissue remains intact

These factors directly correlate to an increased chance of cure and better healing from the surgery.

Mohs surgery reconstruction also has some incredible benefits, including:

  • A more aesthetically pleasing result
  • Peace of mind

What Does Mohs Surgery Treat?

Mohs surgery is most useful for treating basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma: the most common forms of skin cancer.

In some cases, surgeons may use it for more malignant forms of skin cancer, such as melanomas. However, this depends on individual circumstances.

Mohs surgery will likely be used if the cancer:

  • is in an area where minimal scarring is vital, such as the face or genitals
  • is either a recurrence or has a high risk of recurring
  • has hard-to-define borders

Undergoing Rhinoplasty Surgery

There are two primary types of rhinoplasty: closed and open. In a closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions inside the nose. This prevents scarring but can limit the doctor’s ability to manipulate cartilage and create your ideal look. In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon creates the incision at the base of the columella, the tissue that sits between your nostrils. By doing so, he is able to lift the skin off the cartilage and obtain a better view of your nose’s structure. This technique is more time consuming but allows the doctor to add or reduce cartilage with more precision. Because an open rhinoplasty can often produce a better clinical result, Dr. Gale often prefers it over the closed procedure.

Dr. Gale performs his surgeries at the ENT Center of Utah Surgery Center, Salt Lake Regional, Riverton Hospital, and Intermountain Medical Center. These medical facilities are ideally located if you want a Rhinoplasty and live in Riverton, Salt Lake City, or in the surrounding areas.

What Can I Expect Before and During Mohs Surgery?

In the weeks leading up to your Mohs surgery, you should get plenty of sleep and eat a full, nutritious diet. This will prepare your body to heal rapidly from the procedure.

You and Dr. Gale should also discuss any medications you may be taking. If safe to do so, you may need to stop taking certain medications, particularly blood-thinners. Blood-thinners increase the chance of post-surgery bleeding and increase the time it takes your body to heal wounds, so its best to avoid them.

Mohs surgery will take some time to complete due to the numerous examinations required in the process. As such, come to the surgery prepared with a book or something useful to pass the time.

Your Mohs surgery will be performed under local anesthesia, so you’ll be awake.

The surgery will take several hours and depends on the size of the tumor. As it is difficult to tell this before starting, many surgeons will advise that you reserve the whole day for your Mohs surgery.

Dr. Gale will begin the procedure by injecting a local anesthetic, which will completely numb the area surrounding the tumor. Then, using a micro scalpel, he will remove the visible part of the cancer and a layer of the underlying tissue.

This incision is covered by a temporary bandage, and the sample is taken to a laboratory for examination. If there are cancerous cells in the sample, Dr. Gale will repeat this process until there is no cancer detected. This means we have completely removed the tumor while keeping as much of the healthy skin as intact as possible.  

before and after right view rhinoplasty of female patient Riverton, Utah

Improving Form & Function

Trust Dr. Derrick Gale to help you achieve your goals, whether they are aesthetic, reconstructive or both. View our before and after gallery to see the surgical skill and technical mastery of one of Utah’s leading facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons.  

Mohs Surgery Reconstruction

Once the procedure is complete, Dr. Gale will decide how to best heal the incision. The reconstruction method depends on the size and location of the incision, and there are several options available:

  • Second intention healing – letting the wound heal on its own. Done in cases of small tissue removal
  • Primary closure – stitching the wound closed with sutures. Done when the wound is deeper or wider than is ideal for second intention healing.
  • Skin flap – using skin next to the wound to cover it and encourage healing
  • Skin grafting – harvesting skin from a different part of the body to cover the wound and encourage healing
  • Bone grafting – bone is taken from the skull and shaped in the incision site
  • Cartilage grafting – cartilage is taken from the ear or ribs and reused in the site

Dr. Gale also performs reconstructions on patients who have had previous Mohs surgery and are looking to restore the incision site cosmetically.

You will be able to leave the surgery center on your own once the procedure is complete. It would be best if you kept the wound dry and clean as it heals.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

Dr. Gale is a highly qualified and board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. To arrange your consultation with Dr. Gale, or to voice any questions you have, please contact 801 758 0428 or fill out his online form.

Mohs Surgery FAQs

Recovering from Mohs surgery depends on the size and location of the tumor that was removed. Most patients can return to work and non-strenuous activity the day after the procedure if they can keep their incisions dry and clean as they heal.

Skin cancer patients are more likely to develop tumors in the future, so they should arrange semi-regular checkups with their surgeon or dermatologist to ensure any recurrence or new growths are detected as soon as possible.

Yes. You can even drive yourself away from the surgery, in most cases.

As with all operations, there are certain risks associated with Mohs surgery. These include;

  • Bleeding
  • Localized numbness
  • Temporary loss of sensation in the area
  • Itching surrounding the operation site
  • Scarring

However, when performed by an experienced, certified surgeon, these risks are minimal, and it is highly unlikely you will experience complications with Mohs surgery.

If you have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of carcinoma, particularly on the face, hands, or arms, then Mohs surgery is likely a highly suitable procedure for you. You should consult with several doctors before committing to a surgeon, but rest assured you can find a highly trained and experienced surgeon in Dr. Gale at the Ear Nose and Throat Center of Utah.