MOHS – Micrographic Surgery

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs Surgery is the surgical removal of skin cancer from your skin, layer by layer.  Mohs surgery is the only treatment method that allows the evaluation of skin cancer cells during the procedure, which results in the highest cure rate possible while removing the least amount of normal tissue.

Not all tumors grow as perfect spheres. There are several different modes of tumor growth that are best treated using the Mohs technique. What is visible on the surface of the skin may be only the tip of the tumor with a larger portion existing underneath the skin.

Different Types of Skin Cancer

  • A Basal Cell skin cancer is a common type of skin cancer. If you have a growth that looks like this, you should have it evaluated to determine if it is in fact a Basal Cell skin cancer.
  • A Squamous Cell skin cancer is another common type of skin cancer. If you have a growth that looks like this, you should have it evaluated to determine if it is in fact a Squamous Cell skin cancer.
  • Melanoma is another type of skin cancer. If you have a lesion that looks like this, you should be evaluated to determine if it is in fact a melanoma.

The Mohs Surgery Process

  1. The Mohs surgeon assesses the skin cancer and determines how deep it is. The Mohs surgeon may refer to the growth under the skin as “roots.”
  2. The skin cancer surface is removed.
  3. The skin cancer under the surface of the skin is removed and viewed under a microscope to look for additional cancer cells.
  4. This step is repeated layer by layer until no cancer cells are found once viewed under a microscope.
  5. Mohs surgeons remove only tissue containing cancer, ensuring the patient keeps as much healthy tissue as possible. 

Advantages of Using the Mohs Technique

  • This form of treatment has the highest cure rate of any type of existing procedure—up to 99 percent.
  • The maximal preservation of skin tissue is enhanced.
  • This technique has the lowest functional and cosmetic morbidity of any procedure, meaning less scarring.
  • It is cost effective compared to other surgical options.
  • It is a one day, outpatient surgery using local anesthesia.

Via American Academy of Dermatology www.aad.org

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