Mohs Micrographic Surgery: What is Skin Cancer Surgery?

Mohs Micrographic Surgery: What is Skin Cancer Surgery?

skin cancer surgeryA skin cancer diagnosis can be scary. There are many different types of skin cancer, and treatment choices can be confusing. One tried and true method of skin cancer treatment is Mohs Micrographic Surgery, one of the leading skin cancer surgeries practiced today.

What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

There are many methods to treat skin cancer. However, even with advancing non-surgical techniques, surgery is still an effective treatment. Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly specialized technique for the removal of skin cancer. It uses surgical excision, or the surgical technique of removing tissue, to eliminate cancer cells. This surgery was originally developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs and has been refined and specialized over the decades.

Because this procedure is highly specialized, only a few major medical centers and outpatient clinics in the country perform Mohs surgery. This treatment is highly effective, and its specialized nature means high chances of curing skin cancer. Even when other treatments have failed, the cure rate can be as high as 95%, and for new skin cancers, 99%.

Do I need skin cancer surgery?

Depending on the type and severity of your skin cancer, you may require surgery. There are a few factors that can help your dermatologist determine if you are a candidate. These can include:

  • Cancer that has a high chance of recurring
  • If you have previously had skin cancer treatments on the affected area
  • Your cancer has ill-defined borders or an irregular shape
  • The cancer is in a location that is cosmetically important, like the eyelids, lips, etc.


What is the surgery process?

Because every skin cancer is different, it’s important to treat every skin cancer uniquely. That’s why Mohs Micrographic Surgery is so effective. Because it allows the surgeon to find where the cancer ends, it has a high cure rate and can usually be done in a dermatologist’s office.

After numbing, the surgeon removes the cancerous tissue and examines it under a microscope. This can take about 30 minutes to an hour. Then, after the surgeon examines the tissue, they can determine if they have gotten all of the cancerous cells removed. If not, then they are able to perform more “rounds” of removal. The surgery will be complete once the surgeon detects no more cancer cells in the tissue after these stages.

How do I prevent skin cancer?

It has been shown that once you develop a skin cancer, there is a significant chance of developing another. That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice skin cancer prevention, but especially for those who have previously had skin cancer. Start by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and limiting your time exposed to the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

A skin cancer diagnosis can be daunting. But, if your dermatologist has recommended Mohs Micrographic Surgery, then you can rest easier knowing this procedure has a high success rate. If you’re still wondering how to treat your skin cancer, ask your doctor about your options or schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

Loven Dermatology is proud to perform Mohs Micrographic Surgery at our Hendersonville office. If you have questions or would like more information on Mohs Micrographic Surgery at Loven Dermatology, please call 615-859-7546 or fill out our appointment request form.