Mohs micrographic surgery, first developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs, remains the most effective treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The technique combines surgery and pathology on the same day, allowing complete removal of the skin cancer while taking the smallest amount of tissue.
Who is a Good Candidate for the Procedure?
Mohs micrographic surgery is recommended for treating skin cancers considered higher risk due to their size, location or growth pattern. These characteristics are assessed by your dermatologist and Mohs surgeon to determine if Mohs would be an appropriate treatment.
Mohs surgery is indicated for skin cancers occurring on: the head, neck, hands, shins, and feet.
Mohs microsurgery is indicated for:
Large skin cancers (> 2 cm)
Fast-growing or aggressive skin cancers
Skin cancers where scar tissue is present
Skin cancers with poorly defined margins
Skin cancers that have recurred
Skin cancers in immunocompromised patients
Skin cancers in previously irradiated skin
What are the Benefits of Mohs Microsurgery as a Skin Cancer Treatment Option?
100% of tumor margins examined on-site on the same day
99% cure rate for skin cancers that have not been treated before
94% cure rate for skin cancers that have recurred
Leaves the smallest scar possible
Spares healthy tissue
Does not require general anesthesia
How Does It Work?
During Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed in stages, the tissue is processed after each stage in an on-site lab, and the Mohs surgeon examines all the edges of each layer under a microscope. If any cancer cells remain, the surgeon knows their exact site and removes another layer of tissue from that precise location, while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. Each stage takes approximately one hour to process in the lab, which can vary depending on the type of location of the skin cancer. The doctor repeats this process until no cancer cells remain. Once the patient is cancer-free, repair of the site begins.
What to Expect from Mohs Reconstructive Surgery
Mohs reconstruction is performed on the same day whenever possible to minimize risk of infection, bleeding, and downtime. The reconstruction is typically performed in the same PPSD office, except for special circumstances. Closure techniques include linear repairs, secondary intent, grafts, or flaps. Optimal options depending on the size and location of the defect will be discussed and performed by the Mohs surgeon or plastic surgeon.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
To learn more about the process, please enjoy this informative video:
Meet Our Mohs Surgeons
Charles Johnson, MD, FAAD
William Fangman, MD, FAAD
Laura Rosenzweig, MD, FAAD
Blakeney & Cotswold Offices
Laura Kline, MD, FAAD
Parteek Singla, MD, FAAD
Belmont & Gastonia Offices
Why Choose PPSD for Mohs Surgery?
PPSD has assembled world-class, board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons who collaborate as a team to walk each patient through every step of skin cancer prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. We work with the most cutting-edge equipment at state-of-the-art facilities to provide each patient with the personalized, compassionate care they deserve. Moreover, PPSD is proud to be the largest multi-disciplinary group specializing in dermatology and plastic surgery in the country with 11 offices in Charlotte, Gastonia, Shelby, Hickory, Lake Norman and surrounding cities, providing convenience and resources to patients throughout the region.
Your procedure begins with a confidential consultation in the warmth of one of our offices in Charlotte, Gastonia, Shelby, Hickory, Lake Norman and surrounding cities. Mohs surgery and reconstruction is performed in our offices in each city.
During the consultation, your doctor will review your medical records, examine the site of your Mohs micrographic surgery, discuss your goals and expectations, and answer any questions or concerns. At PPSD, we match each patient with a caring, knowledgeable surgeon who fits your needs and personality. He or she will explain your treatment plan in clear, easy-to-comprehend language so that you may move forward with confidence.
Although most of our Mohs reconstruction patients in Charlotte, Gastonia, Shelby, Hickory, Lake Norman and surrounding cities experience little pain during or after the procedure, the occasional headache is to be expected and can be easily treated with an ice pack or a few Tylenol. Redness at the treatment site is also very normal. If your surgery was near the eyes, you may experience swelling and/or bruising, which again are best addressed through the use of a cold compress or ice pack.
Because each patient requires a different type of reconstruction after Mohs surgery, recovery times can vary significantly. Your doctor will provide a customized aftercare plan tailored to your needs, which includes instructions on wound care, activity restrictions, and pain management.
Your recovery is of utmost important, and follow-up visits will be scheduled with your surgical team to ensure a smooth healing process. In some cases, you may be advised to consider additional non-surgical treatments such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing, which can greatly complement and enhance the results of reconstruction, further reducing facial scars. As always, if you experience anything out of the ordinary during healing, do not hesitate to contact your PPSD team. We are committed to your health, satisfaction, and peace of mind!
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