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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Mohs Skin Cancer Removal

April 28, 2017, 10:49 pm

There is no denying the fact that new and advanced techniques for treating skin cancer have been consistently evolving in recent years. But there is one skin cancer surgery that has proven to be effective and safe since the time it was first discovered: Mohs skin cancer removal. This technique was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederick Mohs and is capable of treating a number of different skin cancers.

There is an obvious distinction between Mohs skin cancer removal surgery and other skin cancer treatments. This procedure is executed in different phases as the patient awaits their lab reports. All the tests are conducted on site.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery (also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, or MMS) is a highly accurate and detailed technique in which the doctor cuts tissue sections from the bottom layers of your skin tumor.

More and more of the saucer-shaped tissue layers are removed and put under a microscope for examination until a sample is found that does not have visually detectable skin cancer.

How This Technique Works

Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer removal is typically performed on an outpatient basis. In some cases, it might be necessary to perform the treatment at a surgical center. Depending on each individual case and the size and difficulty of the skin cancer, clearance might require more than one single level.

In Mohs skin cancer removal treatment, an experienced and well-trained surgeon who has knowledge about pathology as well as reconstructive procedures will perform the surgery. He will begin by drawing out certain markings close to the lesion using ink. This acts as guidance for the treatment procedure.

After drawing the marks, the surgeon will administer local anesthesia via injection so that you feel comfortable during the surgical procedure.

With the aid of a scalpel, your doctor will then work to remove the slimmest possible visible cancerous tissue layer. Following this, an assistant or a nurse will dress your wound to aid recovery. The tissue is color-coded by the surgeon using ink as a way to demarcate exactly where it was removed from your body.

Why Mohs Skin Cancer Removal?

The reason why Mohs skin cancer removal is successful is that it is simple and non-aggressive in its approach. It is also different from various other skin cancer treatments because the laboratory examination of the removed tissue layers takes place during the surgery itself. This means that the doctors do not have to predict or guess how deeply rooted the cancer is.

The conventional surgical pathology treatments utilize vertical sections and are thus only useful in identifying a small percent of tumor margins. This implies that there is an increased risk of missing or leaving behind a tiny tumor cluster.

On the other hand, Mohs surgery utilizes horizontal sections and allows for the detection of 100 percent of the tumor margin. This greatly minimizes the chances of the reappearance of skin cancer.

Come in for Mohs Skin Cancer Removal

Consult with experienced surgeon Dr. Matt Hlavacek for more details about Mohs skin cancer removal. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, contact our office today.