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What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery refers to a very precise type of skin cancer surgery named after its inventor and pioneer Dr. Frederic Mohs. It is used to treat a variety of skin cancers, including the two most common skin cancers– basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as some other rare tumors of the skin.
How is Mohs surgery different from other skin cancer surgical treatments?
Mohs surgery is different from standard “excisional surgery” in that it allows the surgeon to remove as little normal tissue as possible in the process of removing the skin cancer. Thus, a maximal amount of normal, non-cancerous skin can be spared while removing the cancerous skin. The advantage to this is that the defect size after removing a given skin cancer will be as small as possible.
With the Mohs technique, your surgeon will examine under the microscope one hundred percent of the margin of the tissue that is removed. If any of those margins show cancer cells, then the surgeon maps those areas carefully and goes back to remove more skin only where necessary.
How effective is Mohs surgery?
In addition to keeping surgical incisions as small as possible, the chief advantage to Mohs surgery is that it offers the best advantage for complete tumor removal. Because it is performed with microscopic confirmation and precise mapping of the tumor edge, the cure rate for primary basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is over 99%.
What will happen after Mohs surgery is performed and my skin cancer is removed?
Once the skin cancer is completely removed with the Mohs technique, there will be a wound or defect on the skin where that cancer had been. Most wounds can be repaired by your fellowship trained Mohs surgeon on the same day as the Mohs surgery. Dr. Jacobson has trained extensively in this repair process, and he will discuss all of the reconstructive options with you in a personalized and easy to understand manner.