Mohs micrographic surgery is one skin cancer treatment available at Harris Dermatology.
This specialized treatment is highly effective because only minimal amounts of tissue are removed. This leaves behind a larger amount of healthy tissue which helps reduce scarring.
It is most often recommended for skin cancers that have recurred or have a high chance of recurrence. It is also indicated for areas like the hands or face that require maximum healthy tissue for cosmetic or functional reasons.
How does it work?
The Mohs surgeon marks the area to be treated and removes the visible cancer, along with a sliver of additional tissue. While the patient waits, the removed tissue is carefully marked creating a Mohs “map.” A technician prepares the specimen for the surgeon to examine it under a microscope.
This careful inspection reveals any hidden microscopic “roots” of skin cancers. If remaining cancer is found, the surgeon can use the map to locate and remove hidden cancerous roots from the patient. This part of the procedure is repeated as many times as necessary to remove all parts of the skin cancer, seen and unseen.
Usually the entire procedure takes fewer than four hours, depending on the hidden extent of the cancer. Most insurance policies cover this method of treatment.
Afterwards, there is minimal discomfort. Generally the area heals naturally with little or no scarring. In rare cases, some scar repair may be desired. Side effects are unusual.
Mohs surgery should only be performed by a specially trained Mohs surgeon. At Harris Dermatology Mohs surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in our offices, only a local anesthetic is needed. Most patients report minimal discomfort and enjoy the convenience of onsite care from our Mohs surgical specialist.