Mohs micrographic surgery, otherwise known as Mohs surgery, is a specialized surgical technique used to remove skin cancer. Mohs is often more effective than other treatment options because it uses microscopic examination to remove the deepest roots and extensions of cancerous material.
Why Undergo Mohs Surgery?
- Mohs surgery is often chosen for its versatility. It can be used to treat most forms of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, as well as certain types of melanoma and other less common skin cancers.
- Those who suffer from recurrent skin cancer, or those with large or aggressive skin cancer may be especially good candidates for Mohs surgery, which has the highest reported cure rate.
- Mohs surgery is capable of removing a large of amount of cancerous material while only causing a small amount of damage to surrounding tissues. For this reason, particularly delicate areas of the body such as the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hairline, hands and feet are ideal for Mohs surgery.
Your Mohs Reconstruction With Dr. Bharti
- Mohs surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and may last for up to four hours. More time may be needed if cancerous cells extend deep beneath the layers of your skin. The treatment area will be marked and the doctor will administer a local anesthetic to the treatment area (usually by injection) to minimize pain.
- A visible portion of the skin cancer lesion is removed with a sample. This sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Using a microscope, the doctor will be able to determine if and how many additional layers need to be removed. The cancerous tissue will be removed layer by layer until only healthy tissue is present.
- After the affected area is removed in Mohs surgery, Dr. Bharti works to close the wound and provide the best possible aesthetic outcome.
What to Expect After Surgery
- Larger, more complex wounds may require reconstructive surgery such as skin or tissue grafts. Dr. Bharti will discuss these options with you prior to reconstruction.
- Additional "touch-up" procedures may be necessary to fully reconstruct the wound. You will know immediately after your procedure if you are skin cancer free; this is one key advantage of Mohs surgery.
Mohs Surgery Alternatives
- Other surgical alternatives may include a simple excision, cryosurgery (freezing the abnormal tissue), or curettage and desiccation (burning and scraping the abnormal tissue).
- Less invasive alternatives may include prescription topical creams, chemotherapy treatments, or photodynamic therapy.