Mohs Micrographic Surgery is named after its inventor, Dr. Frederic Mohs and was developed to precisely remove the entire skin cancer without taking any more normal skin than is required. What is seen on the skin at the site of the skin cancer, does not often reflect the extent of the skin cancer and a microscope is required to examine the tissue and determine exactly how wide and/or deep into the skin the cancer goes. By precisely removing skin cancer, the surgeon is able to keep the wound the smallest size possible and spare surrounding normal skin. Mohs surgery involves a number of steps. After local anesthetic is injected, the first layer corresponding to the skin cancer is removed. The tissue is processed in the lab by a trained histotechnician allowing for all surfaces of the skin cancer to be visualized under the microscope by the Mohs surgeon. The Mohs surgeon then correlates the microscope findings with a map that corresponds with the patients wound.
Mohs Micrographic surgery offers cure rates of ~98% for skin cancers. Mohs surgery is a lengthy procedure that requires highly-trained personnel and a Mohs surgeon. Its use is most commonly reserved for skin cancers that are located on cosmetically sensitive areas where it is important to conserve as much normal skin as possible e.g. face, hand or foot, skin cancers that have been treated previously and recurred or large skin cancers that may need to be treated precisely to avoid excessive normal skin removal.
For additional patient information and what to expect pre and post surgery please visit our "Patient Resources" tab on the top right corner of our website.