Mohs surgery, or Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical technique for treating skin cancer. It is intended to remove as much of the cancer as possible without damaging nearby healthy tissue.
What Does It Involve?
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in an operating room or clinic. There will be a laboratory nearby where our surgeon can examine the removed tissue. A technician will clean the area to be treated and give the patient an anesthetic.
Our surgeon will then remove the visible part of cancer and some underlying tissue. The surgeon will take the removed tissue to the laboratory to analyze it. The surgeon cuts the sample into sections and studies each section under a microscope.
The surgeon makes note of exactly where each section came from and if they show any traces of cancer. If cancer is found in a sample, the surgeon will know where to remove more tissue. The procedure is repeated in this same way until the samples are free of cancer.
What Are the Benefits?
The precise nature of Mohs surgery increases the chances of removing all of the cancer while leaving healthy tissue behind. By contrast, the older method of local excision involves removing all of the visible cancer – plus a surrounding margin of healthy tissue.
Mohs surgery also allows the surgeon to verify that they have removed all of the cancer during the procedure. It thus reduces the chances of the cancer recurring, and it also reduces the need for additional surgery or treatments.
Another benefit of Mohs surgery is that the patient gets the results of the lab analysis right away. They don’t have to sweat for two weeks while waiting for lab results. The surgeon typically removes all of the cancer in one session.
Mohs surgery also has a very high success rate, and it can be used for almost any kind of skin cancer. It is especially useful in treating large cancers that grow rapidly and have poorly defined borders.
It is also useful in treating cancers that have developed in scar tissue or are in places where it’s important to preserve both function and a pleasing appearance.
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With locations in Indianapolis, Beverly Hills, Santa Rosa and Newport Beach, Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery proudly offers Mohs surgery as a safe and effective way to remove skin cancer.