Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

The most advanced treatment for skin cancer, Mohs Micrographic Surgery (MMS), was developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s. In the following decades, advances and innovation have led to the current Mohs surgery, allowing the specially trained Mohs surgeon to excise and examine thin layers of fresh tissue immediately, reducing treatment time, and allowing immediate reconstruction of the wound.

Serving as surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon, Mohs-trained dermatologists Drs. Brown and Dimitropoulos trace the skin cancer down to its roots, ensuring complete removal. The procedure allows the doctors to see beyond the visible disease, and precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue intact and unharmed.

Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery

  • Highest cure rate of any existing procedure
  • Preserves the maximum amount of normal skin, resulting in smaller scars
  • Involves fewer reconstructive procedures
  • Minimizes risk of recurrence, eliminating costs of more invasive and serious surgery
  • Performed in the surgeon's office, with pathologic examinations conducted immediately
  • Surgery most often completed in a single day
  • Indicators for Mohs Micrographic Surgery

  • Cancer is large.
  • Cancer is growing rapidly.
  • Cancer has indistinct borders.
  • Cancer has been previously treated and has reoccurred.
  • Cancer has formed in an area of extensive scar tissue
  • Cancer is in a difficult area where it is important to preserve healthy tissue for maximum functional and cosmetic results, especially on the head, neck, hands, genitalia, lips, eyelids, nose, ears, and fingers.
  • Pre-Surgerypre-surgery Cancer RemovedFollowing Mohs/cancer removed Post SurgeryAfter reconstruction

    Mohs Treatment Techniques

    What is visible on the surface may be the smallest part of the tumor that exists underneath. The Mohs technique addresses this tissue best.

    The Mohs trained surgeon begins by removing the obvious tumor. Once completed, a thin layer of tissue is removed from the tumor site, and a "map" of the removed tissue is created as a guide to the precise location of any cancer cells that may remain.

    The removed tissue is then microscopically examined for evidence of remaining cancer cells. If any of the tissue sections examined contain cancer cells, the Mohs surgeon will return to the specific area indicated by the map to remove another thin layer of tissue from the specific area within each section.

    The surgeon then microscopically examines the removed tissue thoroughly to check for evidence of remaining cancer cells. This process is repeated until the surgeon is certain all cancer has been removed.

    The Mohs surgeon is also trained in reconstructive techniques, and following MMS will perform the best reconstructive procedure necessary to repair the wound.

    Common Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

  • Individuals with fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes are more prone to skin cancer.
  • Skin cancers occur more commonly in those who spend a great deal of time outdoors.
  • Burn scars and a history of radiation treatments create additional risks for developing skin cancers.
  • The face, ears, and nose are common areas where skin cancers occur.
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