Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical procedure used to remove different types of skin cancer. During the procedure, layers of cancerous skin are removed and examined under a microscope one at a time until only healthy tissue remains.

Mohs surgery is often cited as offering the highest cure rate for basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. It can also be used to treat melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. When performed by an experienced surgeon, Mohs micrographic surgery allows for maximum removal of cancer cells with the least amount of damage to the surrounding healthy skin.

The procedure is especially useful for skin cancer that has a high risk of recurrence or that has returned after previous treatment, or that is located in an area where preservation of the surrounding healthy tissue is particularly important, such as the face or hands.

How it works

Developed by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs in the 1930s, the procedure has been refined ever since to become the most precise and exact method of tumor removal. Mohs surgery is usually performed in a physician's office under local anesthetic. A small scalpel is used to cut around the visible tumor, which is then frozen and examined under a microscope by the surgeon or a pathologist. If cancer cells are visible around the edges of the tissue sample, further layers are removed until only cancer-free tissue remains.