Mohs Micrographic Surgery
When performed by an experienced surgeon, Mohs surgery offers maximum removal of cancer with minimal damage and disfigurement to surrounding healthy tissue.
Mohs surgery involves the progressive and delicate manual removal and examination of layers of cancer-containing skin, until the surgeon reaches cancer-free tissue. Mohs is done using local anesthetic and is performed primarily on the face, hands, feet and on high-risk patients.
Mohs surgery is often cited as having the highest cure rate for the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. It is also highly effective for recurrent basal cell carcinoma and offers the highest cure rate for these cancers, as well.
Steps involved in Mohs surgery:
Mohs micrographic surgery requires the skill and expertise of a trained surgeon who also acts as pathologist in detecting and removing cancerous tissue. Tissue from a suspect skin lesion is cut horizontally, which is the novelty of Mohs surgery, since traditional excision of suspected skin tumors involves a vertical cut.
The steps of Mohs micrographic surgery are:
- Surgical removal of a thin layer of horizontal tissue from the lesion.
- Mapping of the tissue by freezing and cutting the tissue using a machine called a “cryostat,” and then staining the tissue.
- Examination of the tissue by the surgeon/pathologist to determine if there are cancer cells present.
- Repeat of the process until the tissue is cancer-free.
- Reconstructive repair to achieve the best functional and cosmetic result.