It’s not surprising that people scheduled for Mohs micrographic surgery experience anxiety. Today, Mohs surgery is accepted as the single most effective treatment for removing basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma—the two most common skin cancers. So, not only are there issues with the physical procedure of skin surgery, one must also confront issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
Not surprisingly, the level of anxiety among Mohs surgery patients is higher than that experienced during a general dermatology visit or preceding biopsy for warts and skin tags.
Of course, the degree of distress varies. Not all people react the same to upcoming Mohs surgery. Some have trouble sleeping or shrink from social interaction, while others just find it nuisance.
What can be done?
There are lots of things dermatologists and their staff can do to help with psychological issues. It all starts with a conversation. The benefits of discussing your concerns with a medical professional—even just once—should never be underestimated.
At Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D., we invite you to feel free to ask questions and share your concerns. Here are some suggested issues we can discuss.
- How does your skin disease make you feel?
- Are you having difficulty coping with the disease?
- Any changes in sleep or mood?
- Are you avoiding activities or social functions due to your condition.
- Do you find you are drinking or using medications or drugs before and during social events to help you relax?
- What are your expectations from treatment?
- Overall, how easy or hard is it to deal with anxiety, which is a natural part of the Mohs surgery experience?
For a consultation and more information about Mohs surgery and our approach to supporting you during this difficult time, contact Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D. Dr. Binstock, USCF Fellowship Trained, will answer your questions. Call our San Francisco office at (415) 956-8686, or in Mill Valley call (415) 383-5475.