What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs Micrographic surgery or Mohs Microsurgery is an extremely precise treatment for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Because the roots of skin cancer often extend beyond the visible tumor, Mohs surgeons use microscopes and careful retrieval of cancerous tissue to ensure complete removal of the cancer to the root.
This precision leads to an estimated 99 percent cure-rate for new cancers and 95 percent cure-rate for recurrent cancers. Additionally, the procedure decreases the chance for regrowth while minimizing scarring and damage to surrounding, healthy issue.
The Importance of a Highly Experienced Mohs Surgeon
While it is the gold standard of skin cancer treatment, not all facilities offer Mohs surgery. Sky Ridge Medical Center has full fellowship trained Mohs College Surgeons who are highly experienced in performing Mohs microsurgery. During this procedure, the dermatologist serves as the surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon.
How is Mohs Surgery Performed?
The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, generally right in your dermatologist's office. The surgeon first removes the obvious tumor and an additional thin layer from the site. From this, the surgeon creates a map of the removed cells that will be used as a guide to locate any remaining cells.
The surgeon then examines the removed tissue for evidence of remaining cancer. If cancer is present, the surgeon returns to the specific site (using the map) and removes another thin layer, which is examined for additional cells. This continues layer by layer until all the cancer has been removed.