If your doctor or dermatologist has recently found basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma on your body, they may recommend removing the cancer with Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Mohs Micrographic Surgery has been around for over 70 years and has a 99% cure rate, especially with large tumors and aggressive cancers.
How is Mohs Micrographic Surgery different?
Mohs Micrographic surgery uses a special technique where the skin cancer is removed one layer at a time and the tissue is meticulously examined to ensure all of the cancer cells are removed. While this may be a slower process than other methods, it is extremely effective, and preserves the largest amount of healthy skin possible.
Due to the fact that this procedure is highly specialized, it is vital that your dermatologist be formally trained in a one- or two-year program and is accredited by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS).
Mohs Micrographic Surgery procedure
To ensure comfort and reduce pain, a local anesthesia is given which numbs the area. First, the visible tumor is removed. Then, a thin layer of skin is removed with a scalpel, where it is then examined underneath a microscope. If cancer cells are noticed, then another layer is removed and inspected. This process continues until no further cancer cells are seen.
Once all cancer cells are removed, the dermatologist will determine the best plan for reconstructing and closing the wound based on the shape, size, depth, and location. While there may be a small scar, the special nature of the Mohs technique typically results in less noticeable scars than other skin cancer removal methods.
After Mohs Micrographic Surgery
You may experience some pain for the first few days following the surgery. For a majority of patients, a small dose of acetaminophen provides relief, as well as ice packs on the surgical site. If sutures were needed on your wound, you can anticipate returning for suture removal after about one or two weeks.
Benefits of Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Offers the highest cure rate (up to 99%)
- Has the lowest chance of re-growth
- Minimizes the potential for scarring or disfigurement
- Is the most exact and precise means of removal
To learn more about Mohs Micrographic Surgery, or to schedule your consultation, please fill out the form on this page or call Levy Dermatology at 901-624-3333. We look forward to working with you!