Mohs surgery, otherwise known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is frequently used to treat various types of squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer. It is also used to treat some forms of melanoma. This highly effective treatment offers many advantages including requiring only a single outpatient visit for the surgery, as well as using only local anesthesia during the procedure. Patients typically experience minimal scarring and damage to surrounding healthy tissues. For patients with certain forms of skin cancer, Mohs surgery is one of the premier options available.

What Happens During Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery consists of removing a single layer of skin affected by cancer along with a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue, then immediately analyzing the skin layer in a laboratory setting. This process is repeated until the surgeon cannot find any more cancer cells within the skin tissue. By removing the skin in thin layers, surgeons are able to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, while ensuring they also remove all cancer cells. 

This minimally-invasive procedure is very effective for certain types of skin cancer, with a 99% effectiveness rate for certain skin cancers that have never been treated before, and a 94% success rate for certain skin cancers requiring additional treatment beyond their initial treatment. 

When to Consider Mohs Surgery

A physician may recommend Mohs surgery for certain forms of skin cancer when they want to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible in areas such as the

  • Nose.
  • Ears.
  • Around the eyes.
  • Hands.
  • Mouth.
  • Genitals.

Mohs surgery is particularly helpful for skin cancers that have borders that are hard to define and cancers that are large and/or aggressive. 

Why Choose A Dermatologist for the Surgery? 

Dermatologists have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions, including skin cancer. Since any form of cancer is a serious health issue, many dermatologists have undergone specialized training in order to become premier experts in the Mohs surgical procedure.