Mohs surgery is a very highly specialized dermatological procedure to remove skin cancer. It does have specific indications. Mohs surgery is utilized to remove any basal or squamous cell carcinoma from the head and neck region. It’s utilized to remove aggressive types of basal cell carcinoma in other body areas where regular surgery would be less than desirable due to a lower cure rate. Mohs surgery is indicated for any recurrent cancer on any body location where previous standard surgery has failed in a complete clearance of that tumor. Mohs surgery is also indicated for very large cancers where regular surgeries may not offer the high cure rate that Mohs surgery does.
With Mohs surgery, basically it’s a long process. An individual can be in the office anywhere from one to three to four hours. The whole key is this: we have two parts in the removal of skin cancer with Mohs surgery. The first part is clearing the tumor, and the second part is closure of the wound. Our practice is unique in that we like to perform both of those procedures on the same day to make it much more convenient for the patient. It’s very inconvenient if you have to go clear the cancer on one day, come back to the office the next day to have it sutured, and then perhaps have multiple visits after that for the dressing, care and the suture removal. We try to make life a lot easier for our patients by suturing them the same day they come in for the skin cancer removal.
It’s very important for us, and it’s the highest prerogative, that we make sure that you leave with the most compassionate experience possible when it comes to the Mohs procedure. From the providers — and we’re very lucky to have four doctors that are certified in the Mohs procedure — to all of our ancillary support staff, everyone cares about the patient. We’re there to hold their hands. We’re there to inject the numb in the most gentle manner possible. We’re here to explain the whole procedure the whole time we’re there. We’re here to answer any questions, and so there’s no leaving the office unless you’re crystal clear about the whole experience in removing the skin cancer and in the follow-ups afterwards.
We want to make it the best experience possible. We’re here not just to remove the skin cancer, but to do it in the way where we allay everyone’s concerns and people realize that, well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for the removal of skin cancer. The procedure was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs at the University of Wisconsin and is now practiced throughout the world.
The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing skin cancer layer by layer, and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached (called clear margins). The procedure is performed specifically for large cancers where standard surgery has failed in complete clearance of the tumor. Mohs surgery will be performed in our office and can sometimes take up to three or four hours to complete. This allows us to eliminate the cancer accurately by targeting two parts in the removal of skin cancer. The two parts being: clearing the cancerous tumor and then proceeding to close the wound. We are able to perform both parts of the procedure on the same day to make it much more convenient for the patients.
Mohs surgery has the highest success rate for the treatment of skin cancer (up to 99%) because our Mohs surgeon is specially trained as a cancer surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon.