WHAT IS MOHS SURGERY?
Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is named for Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed it in the 1940’s. Mohs is a state-of-the-art treatment in which the physician serves as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN MOHS SURGERY?
Mohs surgery is unique in its precision. Instead of removing the entire clinically visible tumor and a large area of normal-appearing skin around it, the Mohs surgeon removes a minimum amount of healthy tissue to totally remove the cancer. Thin layers of tissue are systematically excised and examined under a microscope for malignant cells. When all areas of tissue are tumor-free, surgery is complete.
WHY IS MOHS SURGERY IMPORTANT?
Skin cancers often send out slender strands of malignant cells or “roots” into the surrounding normal tissue. Mohs surgery relies on the use of a microscope to trace out and ensure removal of the skin cancer’s roots.
WHEN IS MOHS SURGERY NEEDED?
Mohs surgery is indicated for skin cancers on the head and neck, where preserving tissue for excellent cosmetic result is desired. The procedure is also preferred when the cancer is extensive and grows very quickly, or when it is difficult to determine the extent of the lesion.
Lastly, when other standard methods have been unsuccessful, Mohs surgery offers another chance for cure. Mohs micrographic surgery has the highest cure rate for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and is the treatment of choice for locally recurrent skin cancers, offering cure rates of up to 99.5 percent. Use of any other method to treat local recurrences achieves a cure rate of no better than 50 to 60 percent.
WHY CHOOSE MOHS SURGERY?
Of all treatments for skin cancer, Mohs surgery:
Offers by far the highest cure rate (up to 99.5%)
Has the lowest chance of recurrence
Minimizes the potential for scarring or disfigurement
Is the most exact and precise means of removal
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM MOHS SURGERY?
Peace of mind