What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for removing skin cancers, named for Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed it in the 1930’s at the University of Wisconsin. It is now practiced worldwide by physicians who have the advanced training, surgical and laboratory facilities, and staff to perform this specialized technique.
Mohs is different from other skin cancer treatments and has the highest reported cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer. It is the preferred method of treatment for certain skin cancers because it includes immediate and complete microscopic examination of the removed cancer tissue to determine that all roots and extensions of the cancer have been found and eliminated.
It is not necessary to treat all skin cancers with Mohs surgery; however, it is the best treatment for skin cancer when:
• skin cancers have grown back after previous treatment;
• a person is at high risk for recurring skin cancers;
• the skin cancer is located in a cosmetic area where preservation of the maximum amount of normal skin is important.
The Benefits of Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is designed to remove cancers by tracking down and removing cancerous roots that are not seen on the surface. Some skin cancers are deceptively large, being far bigger under the skin than they appear to the eye. These cancers may send out roots in the skin or along blood vessels, nerves, or cartilage. Also, skin cancer that has grown back after previous treatments may send out extensions deep under the scar tissue that has formed.
By removing cancerous roots, Mohs surgery is clearly the most complete and effective treatment for these types of cancers.