Long Straight Scar?

in all the photos of Mohs surgery patients I've seen the incisions have been round.....I had Mohs Surgery on two sites in February 2013 and have two straight line scars.....and they are still quite visible. Did I in fact have Mohs Surgery?

Doctor Answers 5

Scars after Mohs

You are correct in that the incisions themselves for Mohs are typically oval to remove the tumor but the repair can be a multitude of shapes including straight line repairs.  If the scar is still bothersome, it can be improved a number of ways.  Laser treatments can be used to minimize the redness or to even camouflage any textural irregularities that can occur with surgery.  If the scar is thickened, a steroid injection often helps.  If the scars are still bothersome, return to the doctor for a visit to review scar improvement options. 

Seattle Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Defects or Scars after Mohs Surgery

Frequently, the defect left from removal of a skin cancer is round or oval. With Mohs surgery the cancer "roots" are traced out, leaving a round, oval or some-other-shaped defect. After the cancer is removed the doctor can repair or reconstruct the defect. If this is done in a side-to-side fashion, a linear or curved scar results. If done with a flap, the scar may be more irregular in shape. If a graft is used, it may be circular. Different repairs work best for different defects. Best option is to find a surgeon that you trust and discuss how he/she thinks the wound should be repaired. Good luck.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Scarring from Mohs surgery

Scars from Mohs surgery can be straight, curved, or even round (if the site was left to close by secondary intention meaning there were no actual sutures used). Surgeons will elect to close the site however is best based on the size, depth, and location of the cancer removed. If you have a linear scar my assumption would be that your Mohs site was small and located somewhere where a good, straight closure could be done, leaving you behind the smallest type of scar.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Mohs surgeons minimize scarring.

Many patients who undergo Mohs surgery do end up with linear scars. Mohs surgery, by definition, is the removal of skin cancer with microscopic examination of frozen tissue sections. This technique allows the surgeon to remove all of the skin cancer cells without removing any unnecessary tissue. Often, the resultant wound is an irregular round or oval shape.

The wound left after cancer removal is often closed using plastic reconstructive surgery techniques, which will leave the least noticeable scar. Sometimes, this is a straight line.

Straight line scars may also result from traditional excisional skin cancer surgeries.

Lisa Chipps, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Mohs surgery and scars

Did you see a Mohs surgeon who was fellowship trained and belongs to the American College of Mohs Surgery, if so then you had Mohs surgery. Some doctors say they do "Mohs surgery" but are not technically doing Mohs surgery.

What you are describing is just the way the scar was sown back up. Depending on the size of the hole, the scar can be closed as a straight line or curved. Straight lines often offer the best cosmetic result. Sometimes if there is something in the way of closing up the wound as a straight line, the Mohs surgeon will do a flap or a graft which leave scars that are not straight lines. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.