What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is the most effective and advanced treatment for skin cancer today. It offers the highest potential for cure, even if the skin cancer has been previously treated by another method. Mohs surgery should only be performed by Fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeons like Dr. Tracy Evans. She is specially trained as a cancer surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon.
ORIGIN OF MOHS SURGERY
Originally developed in the 1930s, by Frederic Mohs M.D., Mohs micrographic surgery has been refined into the most advanced, precise, and effective treatment for an increasing variety of skin cancer types. With the Mohs technique, physicians can precisely identify and remove an entire tumor while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed.
Benefits OF MOHS SURGERY
Mohs surgery is unique and so effective because of the way the removed tissue is microscopically examined, evaluating 100% of the surgical margins. The pathologic interpretation of the tissue margins is done on site by Dr. Evans. She is specially trained in the reading of these slides and is best able to correlate any microscopic findings with the surgical site on the patient. The following are advantages of undergoing Mohs surgery in contrast to other removal options.
- Curing skin cancer when other methods have failed
- Ensuring complete cancer removal during surgery, virtually eliminating the chance of cancer growing back
- Maximizing the functional and cosmetic outcome resulting from surgery
- Minimizing the amount of healthy tissue lost
- Repairing the site of cancer the same day the cancer is removed, in most cases
SKIN CANCER REMOVAL Process
Mohs surgery has the highest success rate of all treatments for skin cancer of up to 99%. The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope. This is repeated until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached. Also known as having clear margins.
Risks of Mohs Surgery
As with any surgery, there are risks associated. In addition, those related to Mohs surgery include temporary or permanent numbness and weakness in the surgical area. There is also the possibility that itching and shooting pain occurs in the treatment area. Skin discoloration can appear as well as keloid scars. Dr. Evans can answer any questions about your concerns during your consultation.
Reconstruction After Skin Cancer Removal
Dr. Evans will be able to give you an idea of whether your reconstruction should take place immediately after surgery or be delayed until later. However, it's impossible to know the extent of cancer in advance. After determining that the affected area is cancer free and reconstruction is necessary, Dr. Evans will review skin cancer reconstructive surgery options with you. Depending on the size of the tumor, depth of roots, and location, one of the following options will be selected:
- Small, simple wounds may be allowed to heal by themselves which is known as secondary intention healing
- Slightly larger wounds may be closed with stitches in a side-to-side fashion
- Larger or more complicated wounds may require a skin graft from another area of the body or a flap to close the defect
- On rare occasions, the patient may be referred to another reconstructive surgical specialist
Mohs Surgery Recovery
Our staff will arrange post-surgical check-ups after Mohs surgery to monitor your recovery and spot any possible cancer recurrence as soon as possible. Since 2 out of 5 patients with one skin cancer will develop another within 5 years, follow-up is extremely important for early detection of any new lesions.
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*Individual results may vary on a case by case basis.