The physician serves as surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. The accuracy of a microscope ensures removal of skin cancer down to its roots. An experienced Mohs surgeon can see beyond the visible disease to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
Mohs micrographic surgery has the highest cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer — up to 99 percent (even if other forms of treatment have failed). It minimizes the chance of regrowth and lessens the potential for scarring or disfigurement. Mohs surgery can be utilized most effectively for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma – even if the skin cancer has been previously treated.
Why Should I Choose Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930s in order to combat skin cancer and other serious skin diseases. The simple yet practical approach of the surgery was to eliminate skin tissues that contain cancerous cells, while allowing the wounds to heal or undergo skin grafting to heal faster. Since its inception, Mohs surgery has become the most prevalent and effective treatment for skin cancer, melanoma, and other skin conditions.
In fact, the procedure has a 98-99% success rate in many patients. While this procedure does depend on cutting skin layers, Mohs surgery substantially reduces the size of surgical scars and wounds after surgery.
What Do I Need to Know?
Like most medical procedures, Mohs surgery is performed by one our accredited and board certified dermatologic surgeons, who will apply anesthesia to the patient prior to the surgery. During surgery, the surgeon will use precision to carefully remove affected layers of the skin and soft tissue. The removed layers will then be frozen, dyed, and microscopically examined to determine if any cancerous cells are present. If so, more layers will be removed and examined until there is microscopic evidence that no cancerous cells are present.
After the surgery, the surgeon will begin an effective healing phase that will virtually eliminate the appearance of surgical scars.
What Are the Risks?
Usually, Mohs surgery is safe if the procedure is carried out by a certified dermatologic surgeon. However, there still are some risks you should be aware of. These risks include:
- Nerve Damage
- Cancer Recurrence