Mohs Micrographic Surgery -

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Overview of Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery is the most advanced and effective treatment procedure for skin cancer available today. Members of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) must have completed Fellowship training under the supervision of an ACMS surgeon. The training typically lasts between one and two years, during which time they must complete a minimum of 500 cases of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Reconstruction.

Initially developed by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, the Mohs procedure is a state-of-the-art treatment that has been continuously refined over 70 years. With the Mohs technique, physicians are able to see beyond the visible disease, to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor layer by layer while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed.

Effectiveness of Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery is an effective and precise method for treating basal cell Basal cell carcinomas
Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are the most common cancer in the world. They often appear as a raised, translucent, pearly nodule that may bleed. They can also appear as open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scar-like growths. They are usually caused by both cumulative and intermittent sun exposure or tanning bed exposure.
and squamous cell Squamous cell carcinomas
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are the second most common form of skin cancer. They are usually raised, and may look like scaly red patches, opaque pink nodules, open sores, or warts. Long term, cumulative sun exposure is the most common cause. A small percentage of SCCs spread to other parts of the body and may be deadly.
skin cancers.

The Mohs Surgery process features a systematic microscopic search that traces skin cancer down to its roots, and it offers the highest chance for complete removal of the tumor while sparing the normal tissue surrounding it.

Clinical studies conducted at various national and international medical institutions - including the Mayo Clinic, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Royal Perth Hospital in Australia - demonstrate that Mohs surgery provides five-year cure rates that exceed 99 percent for new cancers, and 95 percent for recurrent cancers.

Why Does My Skin Cancer Need Mohs Surgery?

Mohs Surgery is primarily used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas, but can be used to treat less common tumors including melanoma.

Mohs Surgery is appropriate when

About Mohs Surgery: The Procedure and
Post-Operative Care

graphic of Mohs Surgery Process

The Process

Mohs surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed in a physician's office. Typically, it starts early in the morning and can be completed the same day, depending on the extent of the tumor and the amount or reconstruction necessary. Local anesthesia is administered around the area of the tumor so the patient is awake during the entire procedure.

Reconstruction - Repairing the Wound

The ACMS surgeon is also trained in reconstructive procedures and often will perform the necessary reconstruction to repair the wound.

As soon as the affected area is declared cancer-free, the Mohs surgeon discusses post-surgical options with the patient.

Post-Surgical Management

Post-surgical check-ups are recommended in order to monitor the patient's progress and spot any possible cancer recurrence in a timely manner.

Since two of five patients with one skin cancer will develop another within five years, follow up is extremely important for early detection of any new lesions.

This information was obtained from the ACMS Website - Mohs Overview

For more information about Mohs Surgery, click to read our Fact Sheet, Mohs Surgery Preparation Guide, Slow Mohs Surgery Preparation Guide and also our pamphlet on Treating Your Skin Cancer.


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