What is Mohs Surgery

What is Mohs Surgery?

Named for the late Frederic E. Mohs, MD, who founded the Mohs micrographic surgery technique to remove skin cancers, Mohs surgery is a highly effective surgery that removes skin cancers by excising one layer of tissue at a time. After each layer is removed, it is examined by the Mohs surgeon under a microscope to determine if the tissue is clear of cancer or to precisely map any remaining cancer for excision. This precise microscopic mapping technique enables the surgeon to remove diseased tissue, and spare as much healthy skin as possible.

Mohs is an advanced treatment for specific types of skin cancer and offers the highest potential for a cure while minimizing the cosmetic impact of treatment. If you’ve been referred by another physician or dermatologist for Mohs surgery, we will communicate closely regarding your treatment plan while in our care, and about any follow-up care you may need.

What is Mohs Surgery Video

What Types of Skin Cancer can be Treated by Mohs Surgery?

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (also known as basal cell cancer) is the most common cancer of the body. While usually slow growing, it destroys skin and other structures as it spreads. Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a small pimple, a shiny bump or a bleeding sore that doesn’t heal.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (also known as squamous cell cancer), like basal cell carcinoma, can cause extensive destruction of skin and surrounding tissue. However, it can spread to nearby lymph nodes, and occasionally to other parts of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a rough, scaly area of skin or a larger growth.

Other Mohs-Appropriate Cancers

Atypical Fibroxanthoma, Sebaceous Carcinoma, and other skin cancers may also be treated with Mohs.

What are the benefits of Mohs Surgery

What are the Benefits of Mohs Surgery?

Success rates with Mohs surgery are high for newly diagnosed cancers; up to 99% for basal cell carcinomas and up to 98% for squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery is also highly effective for treating reoccurring skin cancers, even if previous treatments have been unsuccessful.

Because Mohs has both a very high cure rate and conserves healthy tissue, it’s often the treatment of choice for areas such as the face, hands, feet, and shins. The procedure is performed in our office. Typically, the cancer is removed and the wound repaired on the same day without sedation or general anesthesia.

What to Expect

Continued Wellness

Continued Wellness

An overwhelming majority of patients will never need additional surgery to the area treated with Mohs surgery.

As part of your new wellness habits, regular practices of sunscreen application, use of protective clothing and the avoidance of extensive sun exposure to prevent the development of additional skin cancers should be adopted.

Schedule time with your dermatologist every year for your annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Exam and to discuss continued total wellness including options for anti-aging, skin, hair and nail health.

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