Mohs micrographic surgery is an effective and proven treatment for many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), which are the two most commonly occurring types of cancer.
This procedure involves various stages, including laboratory work, while the patient waits. Mohs surgery enables the elimination of cancer cells for the highest cure rate while simultaneously leaving the healthy tissue unharmed and causing the smallest possible scar.
Who is a Mohs surgeon?
A Mohs surgeon receives special training to perform three functions
- as the surgeon who eliminates malignant tissue
- as the pathologist who evaluates lab samples
- as the surgeon who seals or reconstructs the wound
A skilled Mohs surgeon will undertake the following:
- Cautiously examine 100 percent of tumor margins
- Spare the normal tissue
- Leave behind the smallest possible scar
How does the Mohs surgeon perform the process of cancer removal?
The process of removing cancerous cells involves multiple stages, all in one visit. The patient will need to wait at every stage. The surgeon will remove a layer of tissue and assess it under a microscope in an on-site lab.
In case any cancer cells remain, the surgeon will know their precise region and eliminate another tissue layer from that exact location while sparing as much normal tissue as possible. The Mohs surgeon will repeat this process until there are no more cancer cells remaining.
Choosing a Mohs Surgeon
Some Mohs surgeons receive specialized training, known as a fellowship, to understand more about the procedure and specialize in Mohs surgery. Patients should ask their doctor about their credentials and experience in performing this procedure.
Great Care and Accuracy
Mohs surgeons take great care to keep track of the precise area from where each tissue fragment was removed by creating a map.
In this manner, if a small patch of cancer is detected in one piece of tissue, the surgeon will know exactly where to continue with the procedure.
The Mohs surgeon will continue if cancer remains. The surgeon will eliminate an extra tissue layer from the impacted area, making sure that they eliminate the tissue that has cancer while leaving as much normal tissue as possible unharmed. The patient will then have to wait again as the surgeon assess the tissue in the lab.
Until the last tissue sample removed is free of cancer, this process is repeated. A local anesthetic will be re-administered to the patient as required.
How long will it take the surgeon to complete the procedure?
Mohs surgery is undertaken on an outpatient basis in an operating room or procedure room that has a lab in the vicinity to enable the surgeon to assess the tissue after it has been removed.
The procedure usually takes a few hours to complete. It can be hard to tell exactly how extensive a skin tumor is merely by examining its surface. Therefore, doctors typically advise patients to reserve the entire day for the procedure.
Outcome of the Surgery
A key benefit of Mohs surgery is that the patient knows their results immediately. They typically do not leave the appointment until the entire cancer has been eliminated. The patient may have a follow-up with their surgeon or referring doctor to monitor their recovery and ensure that their wound is healing properly.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for Mohs surgery.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.