A World-Class Treatment Team
The most important member of our team is you. Skin Cancer Consultants partners with you to understand your goals, your lifestyle, and your unique skin. Our highly trained medical staff guides you through every aspect of your skin cancer journey — from education and early detection to the safest, most effective treatment to get you back to doing the things you love.
"Mohs surgery achieves the highest cure rates for skin cancer treatment — approximately 99% for new skin cancers and 95% for returning cancer after other types of treatment."
Understand the Types of Skin Cancer
The three most common types of skin cancer make up approximately 99% of diagnosed cases. Mohs surgery can effectively treat all of these skin cancers:
How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?
Step 1: Local Anesthesia
A Mohs fellow specially trained in Mohs surgery, pathology, and reconstructive surgery begins the procedure by examining the visible lesion and planning tissue removal. The patient receives local anesthesia to completely numb the tissue.
Step 2: Mapping the Tumor
The Mohs surgeon removes a layer of skin and divides it into sections. The surgeon labels and color codes each section to map the precise location of the tumor. The map of the surgical site tracks exactly where each small portion of tissue originated.
Step 3: Microscopic Examination
In a laboratory, the surgeon uses a microscope to examine the undersurface and edges of each section, thoroughly evaluating for evidence of remaining cancer cells. During this time, the patient may relax in our waiting room.
Step 4: Additional Stages
If any section of the tissue shows cancer cells at the margin, the patient returns to the procedure room for removal of additional skin — but only from the exact area where tumor cells remain. The removal process stops when there is no longer any evidence of cancer in the surgical site.
Step 5: Reconstruction
The surgeon discusses reconstruction options as needed and instructions for postoperative care. Because Mohs surgery removes only tissue containing cancer, it ensures that the maximum amount of healthy tissue is kept intact and with the smallest scar possible.
The FAQs About Mohs
What is Mohs Surgery?
Developed by physician Frederic Mohs, Mohs micrographic surgery is a precise technique for skin cancer removal. It removes cancers in layers using a special method of mapping and microscopic examination of the tumor and underlying roots. The state-of-the-art procedure has become the treatment of choice for many types of skin cancer due to its high cure rates.
Will Mohs Surgery Leave a Scar?
Yes. As with any treatment for skin cancer, Mohs surgery will leave a scar. Conservative skin removal minimizes the affected area and wound size, resulting in the best cosmetic and functional results. Your physician will discuss your recovery, and you will receive detailed postoperative care instructions. Skin Cancer Consultants is available throughout the healing process to discuss any concerns that may arise.
When is Mohs Surgery Recommended?
While Mohs surgery can be used for almost any type of skin cancer almost anywhere on the body, it is particularly well suited for skin cancers on the face or other areas cosmetically or functionally important. Ill-defined, recurrent, or aggressive cancers are also best treated with Mohs surgery. The most common skin cancers treated are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma.
Are There Other Treatments?
There are other treatments for skin cancer that may be appropriate, but it is important to understand that Mohs surgery typically has the highest cure rates while minimizing the amount of skin removed. Other common treatments include topical chemotherapy medications (i.e., Efudex, Carac, and Aldara), cryotherapy (freezing), EDC (burning and scraping), radiation therapy, and traditional routine excision with margins.
Who is Qualified to Perform Mohs Surgery?
Qualified Mohs surgeons are members of the American College of Mohs Surgery. Similar to being board certified, Mohs training means these doctors have completed an additional 1 – 2 years of fellowship training and over 500 Mohs surgeries. Mohs surgeons are specifically trained to serve as both the surgeon and pathologist. As a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, Dr. Parker is also a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery.
Is Mohs Surgery an Outpatient Procedure?
Yes, the surgery is performed at our facility under the comforts of local anesthesia or occasionally twilight sedation. Although board-certified anesthesiologists are also available, 99% of procedures can be safely performed under local anesthesia.