Mohs is a highly specialized treatment for the total removal of skin cancer. Mohs surgery is done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia, and there is no need to be “put to sleep.” We perform the treatment in our office, in an outpatient surgical suite, and you will return home the same day. Mohs surgery is named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, the physician who developed the technique. This method differs from all other procedures used to treat skin cancer because of the complete microscopic examination of all of the tissue that is surgically removed. We also use a detailed mapping technique which allows the doctor to remove every cancer cell. The procedure is begun after the skin is injected with local anesthetic to completely numb the area. Then the visible cancer and a very thin layer of skin are removed from that exact location. This will be repeated as often as necessary to completely remove the cancer.
By using these detailed mapping techniques and complete microscopic control, the Mohs surgeon can pinpoint areas involved with cancer that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
Therefore, even the smallest microscopic roots of cancer can be removed. This results in:
(1) The highest possibility of curing the cancer.
(2) The removal of as little normal skin as possible.
Patients who have had one skin cancer are at a much increased risk for getting additional, new skin cancers. Dr. Strahan recommends that you see your general dermatologist regularly.
Protect yourself from further sun damage. Even if you tan easily, the sun can contribute to skin cancer. Sunlight damages the genes that control cell growth and regulation and sunlight damages the skin’s immune system. This can allow early cancers to grow unchecked by normal immune defenses. We recommend that you perform self-examination of your skin every few months. This may alert you to early skin cancers which may be treated more easily.
Minimize your exposure by: