Medical Dermatology - Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer. It is an exacting procedure in which the dermatologist performs both surgical excision of the skin cancer and microscopic examination of the surgical margins to ensure that all skin cancer cells have been removed.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced treatment process for skin cancer that offers the highest possible cure rate for many skin cancers and simultaneously minimizes the sacrifice of normal tissue. The microscopic analysis of resected tissue allows the surgeon to track the removal of the cancer and ensure the complete elimination of all tumor roots. As tumors often extend below intact normal skin (like the roots of a tree) this procedure allows the surgeon to see beyond the visible tumor to ensure its complete removal.
The technique is most often used to remove the two most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
The cure rates for Mohs Micrographic Surgery approach 99% for most primary (untreated) cancers with a slightly lower cure rate for secondary or recurrent (previously treated) cancers. While limiting the sacrifice of uninvolved tissue, this specialized procedure preserves the greatest amount of normal tissue. This benefit of the procedure provides the foundation for the best reconstructions and limits scarring or permanent disfigurement.