Clinical Edge

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Body Image After Mohs Surgery on Head/Neck

Dermatolog Surg; ePub 2018 May 24; Beal, et al

Patients' body image (BI) improves after treatment with Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) for nonmelanoma head and neck skin cancer (NMHNSC), a recent study found. Most skin cancers occur on the head and neck, areas of the body that are significant to an individual's BI perception. Since poor BI is a robust risk factor for depression and decreased quality of life, patients with NMHNSC may be more vulnerable to BI disturbance and the negative sequelae of poor BI. In this study, patients undergoing MMS for NMHNSC completed assessments of BI and well-being before (n=239) and 6 months after (n=80) treatment with MMS. Demographic and tumor data were gathered through retrospective chart review. Researchers found:

  • BI improved significantly 6 months after MMS, and the magnitude of this change was large (η2 = 0.18).
  • Repair length (length of final scar irrespective of repair type) >4 cm predicted poorer BI at 6-month follow-up.


Beal BT, White EK, Behera AK, et al. Patients' body image improves after Mohs micrographic surgery for nonmelanoma head and neck skin cancer. [Published online ahead of print May 24, 2018]. Dermatolog Surg. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001537.

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