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Mohs' Surgery - Skin Cancer Treatment using Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is an highly effective and highly specialized technique for removing skin cancers, named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed it in the 1930's at University of Wisconsin .

The major advantages of Mohs' Surgery over other surgery are that the tumor is completely removed with minimal loss of normal skin and the rate of cure is approximately 98%, which is substantially higher than any other mode of treatment.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery as it is fully called allows for the selective removal of the skin cancer with the preservation of as much of the surrounding normal tissue as possible. Because of this complete systematic microscopic search for the roots of the skin cancer, Mohs Micrographic Surgery offers the highest chance for complete removal of the cancer while sparing the normal tissue.

The cure rate for squamous cell carcinomas and new basal cell exceeds even 97%. As a result, Mohs Micrographic Surgery is very useful for large tumors, tumors with indistinct borders, tumors near vital functional or cosmetic structures, and tumors for which other forms of therapy have failed. Mohs technique enjoys the highest cure rate of all treatments for selected skin cancers among all the treatment options it too like others, does not have the guaranteed 100% chance of cure.

When Mohs surgery is recommended?

Mohs surgery is ideal in the situations when the skin cancer has recurred after previous treatment and when it is in a difficult site e.g. on the face, but especially around the nose, eyes, lips and ears.

The Mohs Surgeon

The highly-trained surgeons who perform Mohs Micrographic Surgery needs to be specialists in both dermatology and pathology. With their extensive knowledge of the skin and unique pathological skills, they are able to remove only diseased tissue, preserving healthy tissue and minimizing the cosmetic impact of the surgery.

How many stages or surgery I need to go through?

The average patient needs to go through two stages or procedures although 45% of all patients only require one stage.

Will I have pain, bruising, or swelling after Moh surgery?

Most patients do not complain of significant pain. If there is discomfort, Tylenol is usually all that is necessary for relief. However, if stronger pain medication is needed, it will be prescribed. Sometimes it helps to use an ice pack for short periods of time during the first few days and to sleep with the head slightly elevated. There may be some bruising and swelling around the wound, especially if surgery is done close to the eyes.

What are the chances of recurrence of my skin cancer after Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rate of any treatment method - which is well above 95%. If your skin cancer has never been treated before, then the chance of recurrence is less than 1%. If the cancer has been treated before by another method, then there are less than 4% chances of recurrence.

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