Mohs micrographic surgery, named after Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, is an advanced and highly effective treatment for skin cancer, even skin cancer that was treated with a different method and has come back. It is an excellent choice when skin cancer develops in a highly visible area, such as the scalp, nose, or lip, because it removes the least amount of tissue around the cancer. People visit board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sameer Gupta for Mohs surgery from Natick, Wellesley, and Weston, MA, and surrounding areas to ensure their skin cancer is completely removed while minimizing impact to their appearance.
What Are the Advantages of Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is used to treat most types of skin cancer including basal and squamous cell carcinoma. It is often considered the gold standard of skin cancer treatment for a variety of reasons, including:
- Minimal impact: Preserves as much healthy tissue as possible while completely removing the cancer.
- Optimal cosmetic results: Minimizes impact to the area surrounding the cancer.
- Highly effective: Achieves success rates up to 99% for primary tumors and up to 94% for recurrent tumors.
- Precise: Ensures the entire tumor is removed.
- One and done: Removes most skin cancers completely in a single procedure.
Dr. Krathen also offers non-surgical skin cancer treatments such as cryotherapy and radiation therapy for patients who want to avoid surgery.
How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?
Mohs surgery is performed at Essential Dermatology as an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic. He begins by removing the visible portion of the tumor along with a thin strip of surrounding skin called a margin. The tissue is prepared and then examined under a microscope to determine whether the margin is clear of cancerous cells. If not, another layer of tissue is removed from the edges of the surgical site. The process repeats until the layer of removed tissue is entirely free of cancer.
Depending on the size and location of the cancer, the surgical site may be left open to heal on its own, closed with sutures, or reconstructed.
How Long Does It Take to Heal From Mohs Surgery?
Recovery after Mohs surgery varies widely between patients depending on the tumor’s size, location, and depth. In many cases, the skin cancer extends deep below the skin and requires a larger incision than expected.
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Meet Dr. Michael Krathen
Dr. Michael Krathen is a board-certified dermatologist with more than a decade of medical training and experience. A specialist in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, he uses expertise, collaboration, and compassion to help people of all ages discover their healthiest and most radiant skin.