Mohs Surgery For Skin Cancer

     

    The term "Mohs" refers to Dr. Frederic Mohs, Professor of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin, who developed this surgical technique in the 1930s. The technique has undergone many refinements and has come to be known as "Mohs micrographic surgery" or simply "Mohs surgery" in honor of Dr. Mohs.

    The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing a skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached (called clear margins). This stepwise method for removing cancerous cells results in both a higher cure rate (upwards of 99%) and a sparing of healthy tissue meaning repairs are less involved (smaller scars, fewer effects on surrounding tissues).  Mohs surgeons are uniquely trained as a cancer surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon and Mohs surgery has the highest success rate of all treatments for the vast majority of skin cancers.

     

    The Procedure

    Mohs surgery utilizes a micrographic technique to remove cancerous tissue while sparing healthy tissue. Local anesthesia is administered to the surgery site and patients remain awake during the procedure. Any visible tumor is removed from the skin and examined under a microscope to determine if the tumor is malignant or benign. If the tumor is malignant, the area around the tumor site will be mapped out.

    Once the affected area is mapped, small portions of surrounding tissue will be removed and examined under the microscope to check for cancerous cells. This process of removing and examining small samples of skin tissue at a time continues until all the cancer has been eliminated. If a large area of skin had to be removed during the procedure, a skin graft or tissue flap is performed to cover the area back up. If the area is small, it will be directly stitched closed.

     

    Want to learn more about Mohs Micrographic Surgery from Niagara Dermatology Associates? Call our Lewiston, NY or Kenmore, NY office at (716) 205-8324 to book an appointment

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    (716) 205-8324

    5320 Military Road Suite 104
    Lewiston, NY 14092