What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a method of treating skin cancer that utilizes an advanced surgical technique to ensure complete removal of the cancer cells while maximizing cosmetic outcome and minimizing scarring. Mohs is considered the gold standard for treating many types of skin cancer in cosmetically sensitive areas such as the face, neck, scalp, ears, lower arms and legs, hands and feet. Mohs is most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). The procedure has a high skin cancer cure rate and a lower rate of recurrence.
Dr. Jessica Suzanne Mosher
At DermWellesley, Dr. Jessica Suzanne Mosher, our fellowship-trained, veteran Mohs surgeon and board-certified dermatologist has over 12 years of performing this highly specialized surgery.
Your skin cancer must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for Mohs surgery. Whether or not your cancer qualifies for Mohs will be determined by your dermatologist once the results of your biopsy has returned.
Here is a fantastic video describing the process:
THE MOHS SURGERY PROCESS
- The treatment area is numbed with local anesthesia.
- A small margin of skin surrounding the visible skin cancer tumor is taken out.
- The treatment area is temporarily bandaged while the skin sample is being processed by our in-house lab.
- Once the sample is processed, Dr. Mosher will analyze the sample under the microscope to make sure all the skin cancer cells are gone and the margins are clear.
- If there are still some cancer cells that extend to the undersurface or the edge of the sample, Dr. Mosher will take another layer of skin. This process may be repeated several times to ensure the skin cancer is completely removed and the margins are clear. Remember that while the skin we see may appear to have no cancer, sometimes the cancer is larger under the surface than it appears on top. This is why this technique is so effective, but also why it may take a few passes to clear the cancer.
- Once the skin cancer is gone, the wound will either be closed with stitches, left open to heal by mother nature, or repaired using a skin graft. Dr. Mosher will discuss these options with you prior to your surgery.
- The site will be bandaged and you will return home with instructions about how to care for your surgical site.