Mohs micrographic surgery, also known as Mohs surgery, is a precise and effective surgical technique for removing several types of skin cancers. This technique is most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and other aggressive skin cancers. Our practice has fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, who went through rigorous training with rare and complex tumor pathology, difficult tumor locations, and complex wound reconstruction. Our surgeons trained at fellowship programs endorsed by the American College of Mohs Surgery and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education – the gold standard for training.
Mohs surgery is used to remove skin cancers that have a high risk of recurrence, have hard to define borders, or are located in areas where preservation of healthy tissue is critical, such as the head, neck, hands, feet, anterior lower legs, and genitals. Larger and aggressive skin cancers on the trunk and extremities may also be candidates for Mohs surgery. During Mohs surgery, layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only normal tissue remains. The tissue is prepared with frozen sectioning for examination under a microscope – this usually takes about an hour. The slides are examined microscopically for evidence of additional cancer. If cancer remains, the surgeon notes its location on the Mohs map and uses the map as a guide to remove an additional layer of tissue from skin, taking care to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. This process is repeated until a cancer-free tissue sample is obtained.
After all of the cancer has been removed, the Mohs surgeon will, together with the patient’s input, determine the best way to repair the surgical defect. This could include: letting the wound heal on its own, closing the wound side-to-side with stiches, the use a skin graft or flap, or referral to a plastic surgeon. The dermatologic surgeon typically closes most of the surgical defects.
Benefits of Mohs surgery
- Cure rate of up to 99% for primary tumors and up to 94% for recurrent tumors
- Examines 100% of tumor margin and spares healthy tissue to leave smallest possible defect
- Single outpatient surgery with local anesthesia includes pathology and wound repair
- Patient can be referred directly to Mohs surgeon and patient will return to your care after treatment
If you would like to refer your patient to our ACMS fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons for treatment of a skin cancer, please click below to download our external referral packet.