I have heard a lot about “Mohs Surgery” for skin cancer, but what is it?
The reason Mohs Surgery is one of the best treatments for skin cancer is because of its precision. To put it simply, the surgery is effective because it tests margins during surgery to ensure all cancer cells have been removed.
Created in the 1930s by Dr. Frederick Mohs (hence the name), Mohs Surgery has a 98 percent cure rate for the two most common kinds of skin cancer, Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carcinomas. During Mohs Surgery–which is also called Microscopic Surgery–layers of skin are removed, and then examined for cancerous cells until only healthy skin is left. This is beneficial compared to other procedures which often remove healthy tissue unnecessarily.
Dermatologists are able to identify problem cells by placing the surgically-removed tissue in a series of chemicals, which stain the cancerous cells in about 30 minutes. The Mohs surgeon can then determine under the microscope if the cancer is clear or not fully removed. If not, another layer of skin is removed and the process is repeated until all the margins are clear.
Mohs Surgery is an outpatient surgery utilizing local anesthesia.
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