Mohs micrographic surgery (Mohs Surgery) is a type of skin cancer surgery that has the highest cure rate available, while leaving the smallest scars possible. Performed in a medical office setting (rather than in an operating room), under local anesthesia, Mohs is superior to other skin cancer treatment modalities for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). For skin cancers that have not been previously treated, Mohs surgery has a 99% cure rate for Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas and it offers the best cosmetic outcomes for treated patients. Moreover, without the need of a hospital-based operating room, the cost of this treatment is a fraction of traditional methods.
Mohs Surgery explained
So what is Mohs Surgery? Mohs Surgery is a special technique that not only removes less tissue than a standard excision, but also allows the patient to leave that day with confirmation that the skin cancer was completely removed from the site.
In the physician’s office, the Mohs surgeon carefully removes the cancerous tissue (while avoiding as much healthy tissue as possible), maps the tissue with different colors of ink, and examines the margins under the microscope. The Mohs surgeon analyzes the entire edge of the tissue under a microscope to make sure that every last bit of the cancer was removed. If any cancer cells are detected, the surgeon goes back to remove a little more tissue, but only in the precise area necessary, based on the customized tissue map. This process is repeated until all of the cancerous tissue is removed. This entire surgery, along with closing the surgery site, is almost always completed on the same day. Since the tissue removal, processing, and microscopic examination happen in an outpatient office setting, patients no longer have to wait several days or weeks to find out if their skin cancer has been completely removed.
Mohs Surgery is considered a standard of care at large, world-class organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And, it’s available right here in Toledo at your dermatologist’s office, without the high costs associated with operating room based procedures.
If you have an unhealing, bleeding, or changing lesion, please schedule an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist for a skin check. With better results, lower costs and lower risks, advancements like Mohs Surgery can put your mind at ease should skin cancer surgery become necessary.