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Dermatol Surg. 2017 Mar;43(3):415-423. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000998.

Broader Practice Indications for Mohs Surgical Defect Healing by Secondary Intention: A Survey Study.

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*Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York; †Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, California; ‡Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, New York, New York.



Recent reports have indicated secondary intention (SI) healing utilization for Mohs surgical defects beyond conventionally accepted indications.


To characterize potentially more expansive guidelines for when SI healing is indicated or appropriate in dermatologic surgery.


A survey study was e-mailed to the American College of Mohs Surgery in 2015. A group of 293 respondents addressed factors influencing decisions to heal surgical defects secondarily.


The most experienced surgeons were significantly more likely to heal deep and larger wounds secondarily. Many surgeons elect SI healing in patients with current or previous wound dehiscence, flap necrosis, or infection; in patients who have undergone skin cancer excisions before, or who are elderly, and; if the lesion was sent for permanent section, or when treating high-risk, large, recurrent, or aggressive tumors.


Broader indications for SI healing of Mohs surgical defects may be appropriate than previously understood. In addition to concave, temporal, periocular, perinasal, and periauricular sites, SI healing may be appropriate for convex sites such as the scalp and anterior lower extremity, deep wounds, and large wounds, as well as wounds with dehiscence, flap necrosis, or infection. Certain patient-specific and lesional factors are also appropriate indications for SI healing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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