Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer; whereby thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed. They are then examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.
The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Mohs surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic.
Mohs surgery is used to treat the most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as some kinds of melanoma and other more unusual skin cancers.
Why Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is especially useful for skin cancers that:
- Have a high risk of recurrence or that have recurred after previous treatment
- Located in areas where you want to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, such as around the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet and genitals
- Have borders that are hard to define
- Are large or aggressive
The Advantages of Mohs Surgery
One of the advantages of Mohs surgery is that you know your results right away, and you usually don't leave your appointment until all of the skin cancer has been removed. You may have a follow-up visit with your surgeon or referring doctor to monitor your recovery to make sure your wound is healing properly.