For people with skin cancer, the Mohs surgery will remove the cancerous part. It will take out the root so that it can’t grow back again. The surgery is completed under local anesthesia, and it maps out the tissue for additional cancer cells. A board certified skin cancer/Mohs surgeon is experienced and trained in performing the Mohs surgery procedure. The precision Mohs surgery offers makes it the preferred choice for delicate areas on or around the face, hands, and feet .
A person should consider getting the Mohs surgery as soon as they are diagnosed with the disease. When they have it completed early, there is more of a chance that it will be able to get all of the cancer from the body.
The Mohs surgery has helped many people when they come down with skin cancer. Because of this surgery, many people are cured of the disease and free of scarring.
History of the Mohs Procedure
Mohs micrographic surgery was developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs, a professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin. It is used most often for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and lentigo maligna, an early form of melanoma. However, the technique can also be used for less common forms of skin cancer.
People who have skin cancer can have the option of having it removed through Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery helps to map out the tissues in a person’s affected area for more cancer cells so they can be destroyed.
It is a very precise procedure that leaves little or no scarring, so many people desire to have it performed when they develop skin cancer. The Mohs surgery has a very high cure rate.
Early treatment of skin cancer is critical to stop the progression of the disease that can cause disfigurement and can even threaten your life. Mohs surgery is one of the most effective methods of eliminating abnormal tissue from the skin, with a 99 percent success rate.
Here are some facts about this valuable technique for fighting skin cancer.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer
The Mohs technique offers a number of advantages over other types of skin cancer treatment:
- Minimizes the removal of healthy skin tissue
- Lowest rate of complications
- Best cosmetic outcome
- Requires only a local anesthetic
- Highest effectiveness, 99 percent success in new tumors, 95 percent in recurring tumors
How This Procedure Is Performed
Skin Cancer Physicians perform the Mohs procedure in a number of steps, which include:
- Numbing the treatment area with a local anesthesia to keep the patient comfortable
- The visible tumor is removed by scraping it with a special surgical instrument called a curette, which helps to define the margin between the tumor and healthy tissue. Then, the first thin layer of healthy tissue is removed for examination.
- The tissue that is removed is then “mapped” to indicate its position in relationship to other areas of the skin.
- The tissue is then stained in order to color code it to its position on the map.
- The physician will then examine the tissue under a microscope to determine if cancerous cells are present. If so, then further layers will be removed to ensure that all abnormal cells are eliminated.
- If cancerous cells are present, the surgeon refers to the map that has been developed and continues to remove thin layers in the affected areas until no abnormal cells are found. This ensures that all cancer cells have been removed, while removing the least amount of healthy tissue.
- If necessary, reconstruction of the treated area is done to ensure that the area has the most aesthetic result during healing.
- The area is bandaged and allowed to heal.
The Mohs procedure has helped millions of people continue their lives without the threat of further damage from skin cancer.
Many patients have sought out a cosmetic plastic surgeon to help remove cancerous skin cells so they can live a happy and secure life without fear of malignancy. Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is one of the most effective treatments for skin cancer and can still be successful for a patient who has undergone unsuccessful treatments in the past.
Facts about Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Frederic E. Mohs developed this type of surgery in 1938. Mohs surgery is a process that removes skin cells one layer at a time. Each layer of tissue can then be examined to determine where to next remove tissue. By using a layer-by-layer approach, doctors can remove less tissue while still completely removing cancerous cells. This makes it ideal for patients whose cancerous cells are in visible locations such as the face. The sensitive nature of the procedure requires a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon, to heal the face while maintaining the beauty and natural symmetry of the face.
Who is the ideal candidate for Mohs surgery to treat skin cancer?
Mohs surgery is often recommended to patients who have skin cancer that is likely to spread or return. It’s also the recommended treatment for children with cancerous skin cells. Several other factors make Mohs surgery a good option. These include:
- spindle cell tumors
- sebaceous carcinomas
- Paget’s disease
- atypical fibroxanthoma (among others)
There are many positive benefits and results from Mohs surgery. Dr. Robert Schwarcz, a prominent cosmetic surgeon, with two practices in New York City often treats patients who seek to remove skin cancer with this procedure. In addition to Mohs surgery, Dr. Schwarcz utilizes other methods as well to effectively treat skin cancer.
Cure rate of Mohs micrographic surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery has a cure rate between 97% and 98% for basal cell carcinoma, making it the most effective of cancerous skin care removal methods. Cure rates are lower for other types of skin cancer, including some melanomas.
Like any skin surgery, Mohs runs the risk of scarring and possible infection, but both can be reduced by following care instructions from your doctor. Discomfort at the removal site and bleeding are also possible side effects.
After undergoing Mohs micrographic surgery, patients may undergo reconstructive surgery at the site. Small wounds may heal naturally or with stitches while doctors may use a skin graft to reconstruct larger sites.