Mohs surgery is a surgical procedure used to remove basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, which are the two most common types of skin cancer. Mohs surgery is a surprisingly old technique, for an early version of the procedure was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs back in the 1930s. It is still the most effective treatment for skin cancer with a 99 percent cure rate for new cancers and a 94 percent cure rate for recurring cancers.
What Does Mohs Surgery Involve?
Mohs surgery is a meticulous procedure that typically involves the use of a local anesthetic to keep the patient comfortable. During the procedure, the practitioner will remove a layer of cancerous tissue surrounded by a border of seemingly healthy tissue and take it to the pathology lab for analysis. While the patient waits, the tissue will be cut into sections and examined for signs of cancer cells beyond the affected area. If any are found, the surgeon will return to the patient and remove another layer of tissue to have that analyzes. The process is repeated until a clean sample is found with no cancer cells.
As tedious as Mohs surgery can sound, it provides the large advantage of treating the cancer during one visit. It also provides the patient with peace of mind. During a conventional excision, the practitioner takes a biopsy and sends it to a pathology lab. The patient goes home, where they have to sweat for about a week or longer while waiting for the lab results. During Mohs surgery, the patient gets the lab results immediately. When they go home, they know the doctor has removed all of their cancer.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Mohs surgery is considered the gold standard for many squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. It is considered particularly helpful for patients with cancers on the face, hands or feet. It is also recommended for patients with compromised immune systems. Mohs surgery can help patients with large and aggressive cancers.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, simply get in touch with us at Lakeside Dermatology, located in Winter Haven and Sebring. We can help you determine if you qualify for the procedure. Contact us today to book your consultation.