What Is Mohs Surgery?

July 3rd, 2017
what is mohs surgery

If you’ve ever dealt with skin cancer before, you may have heard of Mohs Surgery. It’s a unique type of skin cancer treatment and surgery technique that was first created back in 1938 by a Doctor named Frederic Mohs.

There’re a few different things that make this technique unique. First, it’s removing the layers of skin cancer in a horizontal manner — they’re going downward, layer by layer until no further skin cancer is detected. Your Doctor will examine each layer of skin under a microscope and be able to visualize the outside edges of the cancer, which isn’t something that is traditionally done.

How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?

If you and your Doctor have chosen to use the Mohs Surgery technique to combat your skin cancer, there are some typical operating procedures you’ll want to know about. This treatment is most often an outpatient day treatment, so expect to visit your Doctor in their normal office. You will be put under local anesthetic, and the treatment area will be frozen.

Your Doctor will remove the top layer of skin cancer, and it will be examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present. They will continue this practice, layer after layer until there are no more cancer cells found. Because of the nature of this surgery, you will often have a small team to manage each step. As everything is happening all with the patient right in the room, it’s fairly labor intensive, and it’s difficult to say exactly how long your particular procedure will take. It all depends on how deep the cancer goes, so you’ll want to clear your calendar for the full day.

Why Would My Doctor Suggest Mohs Surgery?

Mohs Surgery is a unique approach for skin cancer treatment and is proven to be extremely successful for certain types of skin cancer. Most commonly, this technique is used for basal and squamous cell skin cancers that are found on the neck and head. It’s extremely helpful for occurrences where minimal tissue removal is required, such as on the lips or nose. Mohs Surgery is often recommended for skin cancers that have reoccurred, as it can be a more effective measure to ensure all cancer cells have been removed.

If you’re dealing with any type of cancer or have any concerns about your skin’s health, the best plan is always to contact your local dermatologist or our office in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Lakewood Ranch and book an appointment for a professional opinion.