Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is a treatment of skin cancer in which the physician serves as surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. Mohs surgeons are dermatologists who have extensive knowledge of the skin and its healing properties, as well as training in reconstructive surgery.

Mohs surgeons remove the obvious tumor first. Next they remove an additional, thin layer of tissue from the tumor site. This tissue is immediately examined under the microscope.

The Mohs surgeon creates a "map" or drawing of the removed tissue to be used as a guide to the precise location of any remaining cancer cells. If any of the sections of tissue contain cancer cells, the Mohs surgeon returns to the specific area of the tumor site as indicated by the map and removes another thin layer of tissue only from the specific area. This thin layer is examined under the microscope for evidence of cancer cells. This process continues layer-by-layer until the cancer is completely excised. Mohs micrographic surgery is effective for most types of skin cancer, but is most commonly used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas.

Mohs surgery is the treatment of choice when the cancer is large, the edges of the cancer cannot be clearly defined, the cancer is in an area of the body where is it important to preserve healthy tissue for the maximum functional and cosmetic result, or is likely to recur if treated by common methods.

Mohs micrographic sugery is performed on an outpatient basis in our Oklahoma City office, under local anesthesia. The healing process is similar to that of most surgical procedures.
For a detailed pamphlet complete with illustrations click on the link below. (Information derived from the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology educational pamphlet.)