Background and Benefits
Mohs Micrographic Surgery (“Mohs”) is a specialized type of skin cancer surgery. It is named after the doctor who developed the procedure, Dr. Frederic Mohs. A Mohs procedure is beneficial for three reasons:
- It spares the most normal tissue in areas where you do not have a lot of tissue to work with.
- It gives you the best cure rate. In fact, cure rates of 94% to 99% have been achieved.
- Special care is taken to minimize the size of the defect so that you have a smaller wound and improved healing.
On the day of your surgery, Dr. Perez will take tissue near the scar of your biopsy site. Before he takes the tissue, he will draw a circle around the area and will mark your skin like a compass-North, South, East, and West. He will also mark on the tissue he takes. Dr. Perez will remove the tissue, freeze the tissue, and will use the machine in the laboratory to convert the tissue into slides with special stains. This process takes approximately 2 hours. He will then look at these slides under the microscope to see if there are any remaining cancerous cells. Dr. Perez acts as both the surgeon and the pathologist. If there are any remaining cancerous cells, the compass markings on your skin will help Dr. Perez to know exactly where to return to take an additional layer. This process of taking a layer of tissue and reviewing it under the microscope will continue until all of the cancerous cells are removed. The length of your appointment time will vary, depending on the complexity of the procedure as well as how many layers are required to remove the cancerous cells. It could range anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, so our appointments begin early in the morning.