Mohs Surgery is the most effective and advanced treatment for skin cancer with the highest potential rate of cure – up to 99% for primary basal cell carcinoma. The advantages of Mohs are assurance of complete cancer removal and minimal loss of healthy tissue surrounding the cancer. This results in smaller wounds and improved cosmetic and functional outcomes.
Though it can take several hours, Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure. Typically, surgery starts in the morning and is completed the same day. The tissue surrounding the cancer is removed, layer by layer. A temporary bandage is placed on your incision. The bulk of the procedure is waiting for the surgeon to examine the removed tissue. The surgeon takes this tissue to the laboratory for analysis and examines them with a microscope. The tumor is mapped and if a small area of cancer is found in one piece of tissue, the surgeon knows precisely where to continue with the surgery. This is repeated until all of the cancer is removed. The benefit of Mohs surgery is you know the same day that your cancer has been removed and minimal sacrifice of surrounding tissue.
After Mohs surgery, you and your surgeon can decide on how to repair the wound. Options include:
- Letting the wound heal on its own
- Using stitches to close the wound
- Shifting skin from an adjacent area (skin flap) to cover the wound
- Using a skin graft from another part of the body, such as behind the ear, to cover the wound
Mohs surgery can completely remove skin cancer, but people who have been diagnosed with skin cancer have an increased risk of developing skin cancer again, compared with people who have never had skin cancer.
Take the Next Steps
To learn more about Mohs Surgery, or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Weyer, please fill out the form on this page. You can call our Tucson location at 520-207-3100 or our Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787. We look forward to seeing you soon!