Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced surgical technique for the treatment of certain skin cancers. It is most commonly used to treat squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
All cancer cells in the skin may not be visible to the naked eye. Cancer cells form roots below the surface of the skin and if these roots are not removed, cancer will recur. It is common for skin cancers to appear completely removed after the initial biopsy.
Pioneered by Dr. Frederick Mohs, Mohs micrographic surgery has been embraced by an increasing number of surgeons for an ever-widening variety of skin cancers. Mohs is the only skin cancer procedure that spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue while also most completely removing cancer cells.
The reason for the technique’s success is its simple elegance. During a Mohs surgery, microscopic examination of all excised tissue occurs during, rather than after the surgery. The procedure entails removing one thin layer of tissue at a time; as each layer is removed, it’s margins are studied under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If the margins are cancer-free, the surgery is ended. If not, more tissue is removed from the margin where the cancer cells were found, and the procedure is repeated until all the margins of the final tissue sample examined are clear of cancer. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in skin cancer removal, producing the best therapeutic and cosmetic results.
Advantages of the Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Minimally invasive
- Minimizes risk of recurrence
- No hospitalization or general anesthetic
- Greatest therapeutic and cosmetic results
To get a better picture of the process, please view by clicking this link: The Mohs Step-by-Step Process.
You may eat a normal breakfast and continue taking your medications including Coumadin, Plavix, and aspirin, as prescribed.
Please dress in comfortable clothing that you do not pull over your head (e.g. shirt with buttons) because clothing could interfere with post-operative bandaging. Please do not wear make-up.
Mohs Micrographic surgery can take several hours. For this reason, we ask patients not to make any other plans the day of surgery. For your convenience, we do provide coffee, juice and snacks while you wait. We also have a refrigerator and microwave should you wish to bring your own food.
If you have a cold, flu, or a temperature greater than 100.4 F, please notify our medical staff. It may be necessary to reschedule your surgery.
MOHS Pre-Op Instructions [pdf]
We strive to make your surgical experience as comfortable as possible. Before the procedure, you will have the opportunity to ask the doctor any questions you may have.
After surgery, a pressure bandage is applied to the wound site that must be kept there for 24 hours. Further wound care instructions will be given to you before you leave the office Suture removal and follow-up appointments are usually required as a means to provide optimal results and monitor the healing process.
Other Surgeries Performed in our Offices
- Surgical removal of moles, cysts, and other benign and malignant skin tumors
- Laser Surgery