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Doctor examining cells on a microscope.

The possible treatment areas for Mohs surgery are primarily areas where preserving as much healthy tissue as possible is crucial. These include the face, neck, ears, eyelids, lips, and in some cases the genital area.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery, often called Mohs Surgery, is a highly specialized, advanced surgical technique primarily used for the treatment of skin cancer. Named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed the procedure, this surgery is renowned for its precision and high success rate.

Unlike traditional surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery involves the removal of skin cancer layer by layer. Each layer is meticulously examined under a microscope in real-time until only cancer-free tissue remains. This method not only ensures the complete removal of cancer but also spares as much healthy skin as possible, minimizing scarring and disfigurement.

Appreciated for its efficacy, Mohs Micrographic Surgery offers the highest cure rate among treatments for skin cancer, particularly for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It’s an excellent option for cancers that have recurred following previous treatment or for cancers located in cosmetically sensitive or functionally critical areas.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Achieving Clear Margins and Clear Comfort with Mohs Surgery

Welcome to the forefront of skin cancer treatment – Mohs Micrographic Surgery. This advanced, precision-focused procedure represents a significant milestone in dermatological care, offering hope and healing to those grappling with skin cancer.

Mohs Surgery combines the meticulousness of microscopically guided surgery with the reassurance of complete cancer removal. It’s a technique that’s as sophisticated as it is effective, enabling our board-certified dermatologists to remove cancer layer by layer until only healthy tissue remains.

For patients, this means a higher cure rate, minimal scarring, and the confidence of knowing that their wellbeing is our paramount concern. Our commitment to patient safety, coupled with our expertise in this transformative procedure, underscores our dedication to providing personalized, high-quality care.

Book a consultation to learn more about Mohs Micrographic Surgery and discover how this innovative treatment could be your path to recovery and renewed health.

How Mohs Micrographic Surgery Works

The procedure begins with cleaning and marking the area to be treated. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area, ensuring patient comfort throughout the procedure. The surgeon removes the visible part of the skin cancer along with a thin layer of surrounding skin. The removed tissue is then color-coded and carefully oriented on a map for reference. It's then frozen and cut into thin slices, which are examined under a microscope by the surgeon. This allows the surgeon to see if there are any cancer cells remaining. If the surgeon sees cancer cells under the microscope, they return to the patient and remove another layer of skin, but only from the area where cancer cells were observed. This process is repeated until no more cancer cells are seen under the microscope.

Once all the cancer has been removed, the surgeon will discuss and perform the most appropriate type of wound repair for optimal functional and cosmetic outcomes. This process is meticulous and can take several hours, but it's all done in one visit while the patient waits. The advantage of Mohs Micrographic Surgery is its precision. Examining all the edges and underside of the skin cancer layer by layer offers the highest chance of cure, even for skin cancers that have recurred after previous treatment. Furthermore, it minimizes the removal of healthy skin, leading to potentially smaller scars.
Conditions Treated by Mohs Micrographic Surgery
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
  • Some Forms of Melanoma
  • Rare Skin Cancers
High Cure Rate

Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate of all treatments for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), making it an excellent choice for these common types of skin cancer.

Tissue-Sparing

By removing skin cancer layer by layer and examining each layer under a microscope, this procedure ensures that only cancerous tissue is removed. This minimizes the removal of healthy skin and leads to less scarring.

Immediate Results

As the surgery and microscopic examination are performed on the same day, patients do not have to wait for results, and any remaining cancer can be immediately addressed.

Preservation of Aesthetic Appearance

Due to its tissue-sparing nature, Mohs surgery is particularly beneficial for skin cancers located in cosmetically sensitive or functionally critical areas, such as the face, hands, feet, and genitals.

More Information

Mohs Surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. This means patients can avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia, and it allows for a quicker recovery time, enabling most patients to return home on the same day.

Due to the nature of the procedure, the cost-effectiveness of Mohs surgery is noteworthy. While the upfront costs may be higher than other treatments, the long-term cost savings are significant considering the reduced likelihood of recurrence and subsequent treatments.

Before and after image of a mole.

Results

The results of Mohs surgery are highly encouraging, with cure rates reaching up to 99% for primary (first-time) basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and between 94-97% for recurrent cases. This exceptionally high success rate makes Mohs surgery the gold standard treatment for these types of skin cancer.

Also, by removing only the cancerous tissue layer by layer and examining each layer under a microscope, this procedure ensures that healthy tissue is preserved as much as possible2. This approach allows for smaller scars and better cosmetic outcomes, especially when the cancer is located in cosmetically sensitive or functionally critical area.

Frequently Asked Questions

The surgery area is numbed with local anesthesia, which means patients should not feel any pain during the procedure. Post-operative discomfort can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

The primary benefit is its high success rate, offering the highest cure rate among treatments for skin cancer. Additionally, because the procedure removes only cancerous tissue while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible, it minimizes scarring and disfigurement.

The procedure involves removing the visible part of the skin cancer along with a thin layer of surrounding skin. This tissue is then examined under a microscope to detect any remaining cancer cells. If cancer cells are identified, additional layers of skin are removed and examined until no more cancer cells are detected.

The length of the procedure varies depending on the size and location of the skin cancer, and whether additional skin layers need to be removed. It can take several hours, but it’s all performed in one visit while the patient waits.

After the procedure, there will be a wound where the skin cancer was removed. Depending on the size and location of the wound, it may be left to heal naturally or it might be repaired with stitches, a skin graft, or a flap.

Diagram of mohs micrographic surgery.

Not sure which treatment is right for you?

Our expert staff is here to help you make the best possible decisions about your care and informed medical choices. Book an appointment today to learn more about what options are available to you.

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