Mohs micrographic surgery is the most advanced, precise method of removing skin cancer. The goal of this surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Due to the manner in which tissue is removed and examined, Mohs surgery is recognized as the skin cancer treatment with the highest cure rate of up to 99%.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure done in our Main Office at Ash Place. Most Mohs surgeries can be completed in less than four hours. We provide personal and compassionate care in our state-of-the-art surgical center for the best treatment outcome and the support needed after surgery.
Mohs Surgical Procedure
The area to be treated is cleansed and injected with a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Then, the visible portion of the tumor is removed.
A first layer of tissue with a narrow margin around the tumor is removed. The wound is bandaged temporarily while the on site lab work begins.
The surgeon cuts the tissue into sections and the undersurface and edges of each section are examined under a microscope by the surgeon for evidence of any remaining cancer.
If cancer cells are found under the microscope, the surgeon returns to the patient to remove another layer of skin where the cells remain. This process is repeated until there is no evidence of cancer remaining.
The wound will be repaired and closed after there is no cancer evident. The Mohs surgeon will select the most optimal wound closure with minimal scarring, based on your individual needs.
What to Expect the Day of Your Mohs Procedure
A member of our surgical scheduling team will call and discuss the Mohs procedure, record all medical history, provide a step-by-step summary of the treatment and schedule the surgery.
On the day of the procedure, a nursing staff member will further discuss the surgery and how the plan of care will progress. After being escorted to the surgical treatment room, preparation for the procedure will take place and the area will be locally anesthetized.
The Mohs surgeon will remove the visible cancer with a mapped layer for microscopic analysis (as described in the graphic above). The mapping, the tissue preparation and microscopic examination will take approximately 45 minutes. If any further cancer is found, the remainder will be removed and retested until all traces are gone. Next, the area will be reconstructed with the most appropriate procedure providing the best functional and cosmetic result. Following the closure, there will be a brief discussion in the post-treatment consultation room with any family or loved ones to review all post-operative and follow-up care.
Helpful Reminders for Your Surgery
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before
- The morning or day of: bathe or shower, as your wound and bandages must remain dry for the first 24-48 hours. Be sure to eat breakfast and take any prescription medications.
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing; a button down shirt may be a good option, to not disturb the bandages.
- Refrain from wearing perfume/cologne or applying makeup (if the surgery is on your face).
- Bring one friend or family member to your appointment to drive you home following surgery.
- Your guest will be directed to our surgical waiting area during your procedure and will be updated as needed on the progress of your surgery.
- This procedure can sometimes last several hours. You and your friend or family member may want to bring a book, magazine or other activity to help you pass the time.
We invite you to visit the Market, located on the 1st floor of our Main Office, for snacks and drinks. We conveniently offer various post-surgical supplies available for purchase to save an additional stop on the way home.