Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and in the past 30 years, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all of the other cancer types combined. This sobering statistic has necessitated more research into effectively and quickly removing skin cancer to lower the mortality rate.
What is Mohs Surgery?
This surgical procedure was developed specifically to treat skin cancer. Instead of the surgeon just chopping into the skin and removing more tissue than is necessary, the Mohs procedure is very precise.
The surgeon carefully removes skin layer by layer, examining each layer under the microscope until the cells are cancer-free and only healthy tissue remains. It was designed to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible without causing unnecessary damage to the healthy tissue. This reduces scarring and also ensures as much cancer as possible is removed.
When It’s Performed
Mohs is recommended in just types of cancer like basal cell carcinoma, certain types of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and specific types of less common skin cancers.
It’s highly recommended for cancers with a high rate of recurrence or if you have skin cancer that has come back after prior treatment. It’s also used in areas where there isn’t a lot of skin to remove, like on the face, hands, feet, and genitals.
Areas with murky borders that are hard to define respond well to the Mohs procedure, as do cancerous spots that are very large and growing rapidly.
Serious complications are pretty rare. The most common risk of the procedure is discomfort at the incision.
Choosing a Surgeon
The Mohs procedure is a very delicate and specialized surgery, and it should only be done by dermatological surgeons specially trained in the technique. Choosing a surgeon who has completed a Mohs fellowship will greatly reduce your risk of complications or leaving cancerous tissue behind.
Speak with the surgeon concerning how the procedure will specifically be performed.
Schedule an appointment
Mohs surgery is very effective at getting rid of skin cancer without removing a significant amount of healthy tissue. If the doctor recommends this procedure, you can expect a fairly quick recovery and very little downtime.