Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a highly specialized form of treatment for the total removal of skin cancers. Mohs surgery has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer, with a cure rate of up to 99 percent for certain tumors. Because the Mohs procedure is micrographically controlled, it provides the most precise method for removal of the cancerous tissue, while sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue. For this reason, Mohs surgery may result in a significantly smaller surgical defect and less noticeable scarring, as compared to other methods of skin cancer treatment.
Mohs surgery in the treatment of melanoma is modified. The initial stages done by frozen sectioning is the same as for other skin cancers. At the conclusion of the standard Mohs surgery, however, an additional rim of tissue is removed for additional histological examination that can take a few days to process. This additional step allows for a more precise treatment of the melanoma. Accordingly, the reconstruction will be delayed until this final rim of tissue is cancer free.
By microscopically pinpointing affected areas and removing these tissues, the Mohs surgeon can successfully remove your skin cancer. Because normal tissue is preserved to the greatest extent possible, the Mohs surgeon is able to offer you the possibility of a good cosmetic result. Although every attempt will be made to minimize the scar, you will be left with a scar of some kind.
Mohs surgery is very time consuming and requires a highly trained team of medical personnel. The vast majority of Mohs surgeons are dermatologists who have had extensive fellowship training after completing their dermatology training.