Sansum Facial Plastic Surgery
215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93110

Dr. LaPatka and Dr. Leposavic Working Together for Successful MOHS Surgery

It takes a team to provide quality healthcare. At Sansum Clinic, teamwork is emphasized and valued, and every member works together to meet our patients’ needs and improve patient outcomes. Dr. Robert Leposavic and Dr. David LaPatka, two Sansum Clinic physicians,  understand the importance and value of working together as a team for successful MOHS surgery outcomes.

Dr. Robert Leposavic is a board-certified dermatologist with specialized training in MOHS surgery. He often uses this advanced treatment to remove two of the most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This procedure is a state-of-the-art treatment in which the physician serves as the surgeon and the pathologist. It relies on the accuracy of a microscope to trace and ensure the removal of skin cancer. This procedure allows the dermatologist to see beyond the visible disease, and to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. It also allows the MOHS surgeon to be certain that the entire cancer was removed without leaving any of the “roots” behind. Success with MOHS surgery has been reported to be 99%. The benefit of MOHS surgery in areas such as the face or nose, is that the amount of healthy tissue removed is kept to a minimum without compromising the removal of the cancer. After the MOHS surgery, the surgical defect created from the skin cancer removal will need to be repaired.

There are many factors that need to be considered when repairing the defect. Dr. Leposavic will look at the location, size, depth, and extent of the defect. If the defect requires a special closure or is located in a cosmetically sensitive area, Dr. Leposavic will frequently recommend Dr. David LaPatka, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, to perform the MOHS reconstruction surgery.

In addition to his expertise in facial plastic surgery, Dr. LaPatka has extensive experience repairing facial defects created by MOHS surgery. MOHS reconstruction is performed utilizing different types of grafts and/or flaps to close the defect. The type of repair performed depends on the size and location of the wound. Most reconstructions are performed under local anesthesia in the office. Larger repairs may be performed under twilight sedation in an ambulatory surgical center. Rarely is general anesthesia required.

Depending on the size of the defect, repair can average approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours. The vast majority of patients go home immediately after the procedure. When performed in the outpatient surgery center under twilight anesthesia, patients are observed for approximately one hour after the procedure prior to being discharged with a companion.

Most patients do not complain of significant pain after the procedure. In fact, the majority only take over-the-counter Tylenol for pain. Most patients can go back to work the day after the procedure. Some patients opt to take more time off depending on the type of repair performed, and all are given specific wound care instruction prior to leaving the office in order to allow for the best possible healing and outcome.

If you are interested in learning more about MOHS surgery or to schedule a free consultation with Dr. LaPatka, please call (805) 681-7844 or email us at faces@sansumclinic.org.

“Working together as a team, we can provide top quality healthcare and the best patient outcomes.” – Dr. David LaPatka

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David F. LaPatka, MD, FACS

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