What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is specialized skin cancer surgery for the removal of certain types of skin cancers primarily on the face, head, neck or other cosmetically sensitive areas of the body. It is also used for aggressive skin cancers. It has the highest cure rate of any skin cancer treatment and allows for complete evaluation of the skin cancer margins. 

The procedure is performed in the surgeon’s office, and the patient receives local anesthetic to numb the surgical area. Once the area is numb, the tissue is removed and then processed in the lab. The tissue is then examined under the microscope by the Mohs surgeon. The Mohs surgeon will determine if skin cancer cells are still present or if the margins are clear. 

Once clear margins are obtained, the Mohs surgeon will discuss the best options for wound healing, which may require stitches. Each review of removed tissue takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. Most cases are complete within 3 to 4 hours; however, some can take 8 hours or more.

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