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Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Cape Cod Healthcare specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery, the most effective and advanced treatment for skin cancer. With this precise, innovative procedure, the doctor acts as both surgeon and pathologist, examining skin samples from the patient in the office and making a diagnosis immediately. The surgeon can often remove the cancerous tissue during the same visit, preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is a technique for treating skin cancer named after Dr. Frederick Mohs, the physician who developed it. Surgeons can use this technique to remove skin cancers from your face, scalp, hands, feet and other delicate areas of your body with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Mohs surgery is often cited as having the highest cure rate for the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. It’s also effective in the treatment of recurrent basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomas and other rare skin cancers.

How Mohs Surgery is Done

Your surgeon first numbs the area with a local anesthetic and then removes the cancerous tissue in thin horizontal layers, rather than by making a deeper vertical incision. This surgery may take several hours, and you may experience mild discomfort afterwards.

During a Mohs procedure, the surgeon also will:

  • Map the tissue by freezing and cutting it with a machine called a “cryostat,” and then staining it;
  • Examine the tissue under a microscope to determine if there are cancer cells present;
  • Repeat the process until the tissue is cancer-free;
  • Repair and reconstruct the area so you will have the best functional and cosmetic result.

Learn More

You can read more about Mohs micrographic surgery at skincancer.org.

Cape Cod Healthcare offers a full range of support services for cancer patients and their families, including counseling, education, financial and insurance information, and networking. We will be your partner as you navigate cancer. Learn more about our Dermatology services.