Mohs surgery is a highly specialized technique for removing certain types of skin cancer. This treatment differs from other methods of skin cancer removal in two remarkable ways:
Microscopic exam in real time
Your provider at Associated Dermatologists immediately examines the removed tissues under a microscope. This allows them to remove additional skin if needed to eliminate all the cancer without waiting days for lab results.
Preserves the optimal amount of healthy tissue
By removing the minimal amount of tissue and only taking more when the microscopic exam reveals the need, Mohs surgery preserves more of the healthy tissue around the cancer.
By comparison, other surgeries automatically remove a large tissue sample to increase the odds of removing all the cancer at once.
What types of cancer are treated with Mohs surgery?
The team at Associated Dermatologists uses Mohs surgery to treat cancers such as:
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Extramammary Paget disease
Mohs is preferred for skin cancers in visible areas, skin cancers that return after a previous treatment, large tumors, aggressive types of cancer, and skin cancer with borders that are not well-defined.
Is Mohs surgery an outpatient procedure?
The team at Associated Dermatologists performs Mohs surgery on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. Each stage of surgery can take up to an hour. As a result, your surgery may take a few hours or an entire day, depending on the size and complexity of your skin cancer.
What happens during Mohs surgery?
During the procedure, your provider first removes the visible portion of the tumor. Then they carefully remove a deeper layer of skin and divide it into sections that are color-coded and mapped so the tissue can be traced to its precise location on your skin.
Your provider then views the tissue under a microscope. If any cancer cells are found along the edges (indicating cancer cells still remain in your skin), your provider takes another thin layer of skin from the exact area where the cancer cells originated.
The process of removing, preparing, and examining the tissue continues until all your cancer is gone. Then your provider at Associated Dermatologists reconstructs the area before sending you home.
For expert skin cancer treatment, including Mohs surgery, call Associated Dermatologists or schedule an appointment online today.