Mohs surgery, pronounced ‘moes’ and sometimes referred to as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a revolutionary treatment for skin cancer and is considered to be the most effective way of treating the two most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the cancer as possible while causing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
What is involved in Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. This means that the patient remains awake and is aware of what is happening. The process takes place in stages, by a doctor, like Dr. Peter Mattei at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, who is specifically trained to undertake all three stages. These are:
Stage 1: Your surgeon removes the visibly cancerous tissue as well as a thin layer of surrounding skin. This is done using a small, handheld scalpel. You will have a dressing placed over the area while you wait for the second stage to take place.
Stage 2: Your surgeon then analyzes the skin that has been removed by looking at it under a microscope. If any cancer cells are detected in the surrounding skin, you will need another layer of skin removed. This process of removing layers of skin and analyzing them under a microscope continues until there are no longer cancer cells present in the sample. This process takes some time and you will be able to relax while it takes place.
Stage 3: Finally, your surgeon will close or reconstruct the wound to restore the appearance of the area. How this will be done will depend on the extent of your wound, and you may need sutures or potentially skin grafting. Every effort is made to ensure that scarring is kept to an absolute minimum.
What areas of the body can Mohs be performed on?
Mohs can be used to treat basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas in many areas of body and face, including those which may be considered the most sensitive or concerning for cosmetic reasons, such as the lips, ears, nose, scalp, fingers, toes and genitals. If you aren’t sure if you are a good candidate for Mohs surgery, you should schedule a consultation with our team at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center as soon as possible.
How effective is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery has been shown to have a success rate of up to 99% for a skin cancer that hasn’t been treated before, and up to 94% for a skin cancer that has recurred after previous treatment. This makes it one of the most effective ways of treating certain types of skin cancer.
Can Mohs surgery be used to treat melanoma skin cancer?
Melanomas are the most serious forms of skin cancer, as they tend to be the most aggressive. Moh’s surgery is typically only recommended for a specific type of melanoma called lentigo maligna a, which stays close to the surface of the skin for some time enabling it to be removed using this technique but we can discuss your candidacy during your scheduled consultation.
For more information on Mohs surgery, or to schedule your confidential consultation, please contact our office at 954-947- 4500 and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable team.