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A Guide to Mohs Surgery for Patients

Feb 16, 2012

If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, you have a number of treatment options. In some cases, your dermatologist may suggest Mohs surgery, a minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure. Read on to learn more about this unique skin cancer treatment.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Named for Dr. Fredric Mohs, Mohs surgery addresses the fact that any visible skin cancer tumor is simply the “tip of the iceberg” and its roots may extend far below the skin’s surface. A Mohs surgeon begins by removing the visible cancer and a very thin layer of tissue below it. He then examines this additional tissue for cancer cells. If the surgeon finds any signs of cancer, he will return to the site of the tumor and remove another layer of cells from the cancerous area. This layer is examined for cancer cells in the same manner. If there is evidence of cancer cells extending further into the tissue, another layer is excised. Your surgeon continues this process until he encounters a layer completely free of cancer.

Is Mohs Surgery Right for You?

Mohs surgery is best for tumors that are very large, aggressive, or located in an area where excessive tissue removal would have negative cosmetic or functional consequences. With a cure rate of almost 99%, it is also ideal for cancers that have returned after previous treatment. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia only, so it requires very little recovery time. Generally, the excised area is small enough to facilitate a quick recovery time.

Because Mohs surgery relies upon cutting-edge equipment and the skills of a highly trained surgeon, this procedure’s efficacy is remarkable. Mohs surgery generally requires no repeat treatments or additional pathology readings.

With its incredible cure rate, Mohs surgery can be a great option for some skin cancers. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Altman at Arlington Dermatology to see if the procedure is right for you. Call our office at 847-392-5440 today.

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