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A Doctor Examines A Mole On A Woman’s Shoulder To Determine If It Needs Mohs Surgery Skin Cancer Removal

Mohs Surgery 101: Your Skin Cancer Solution

Being diagnosed with skin cancer, whether basal cell, squamous cell, or a form of melanoma, is a scary situation that millions of Americans face every year. The good news is that, when detected and treated early, there is a 99% five-year survival rate from skin cancer. Mohs surgery is one of the most efficient and effective solutions available, and it is improving the odds for many patients. 

Mohs surgery is widely considered to be one of the most precise skin cancer surgeries, with high cure rates and lower recurrence rates. Here’s what you need to know about Mohs surgery.

What Types Of Skin Cancer Mohs Surgery Treats

Contrary to what many patients believe, Mohs surgery isn’t limited to cancer on the face. A trained dermatologist can also perform this surgery on the fingers, toes, scalp, or genitals. Meanwhile, it is a cancer treatment that is primarily performed on two of the most common cancers—basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs).

Mohs surgery can additionally be used in some melanoma cases and several less common cancer types, including cancers that have a high risk of returning. Similarly, it can be used for returning cancer, even if you didn’t have Mohs surgery. 

At Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio, our board-certified dermatologists are highly trained to identify skin cancer and choose the best treatment option for the type of skin cancer you have. Our dermatologists have been specially trained to perform Mohs surgery with utmost care and success.

How Mohs Surgery Is Performed

Mohs surgery is named after general surgeon Frederic E. Mohs, who developed the microscopically controlled surgery in 1938, although it is still relatively recent as a skin cancer treatment. The surgery should be completed by an advanced dermatology surgeon who has trained as a Mohs surgery specialist.

The treatment itself involves cutting out the skin where cancerous cells are noted. After the main affected area is cut, your surgeon will remove a thin layer of surrounding skin. The registered Mohs surgeon will then check the skin under a microscope to confirm that all cancerous cells have been successfully removed.

Benefits of Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is an advantageous cancer treatment for several reasons. Firstly, it has a very high success rate. Furthermore, the surgeon only needs to remove a thin layer of surrounding skin, meaning that you retain a larger volume of healthy skin. This retained healthy skin can aid your recovery and reduce the amount of scarring. 

Mohs surgery is also a good choice for aggressive skin cancer, or cancer in locations where there is little skin underneath—such as the eyelids or nose. It’s a great option for people who have just one skin cancer or several skin cancers within close proximity of each other.

This type of surgery is completed under a local anesthetic while patients remain awake and conscious. That means you don’t have to “go under,” which also promotes a faster recovery time.

What To Expect Before, During, And/Or After Surgery

Before the skin cancer removal can occur you will first need to complete a skin cancer screening. This screening may require lab tests to confirm that your type of skin cancer, as well as its positioning, makes you a good candidate for this treatment. On the day of surgery, your surgeon will prep the treatment area and administer a local anesthetic.

Mohs surgery is performed in stages. Your board-certified Mohs surgeon will remove the area of skin where cancerous cells are found and then check the area under a microscope. If cancerous cells are still present near the edge, a little more skin will need to be removed until there is a safe border of healthy skin cells. Following this process, wound treatment (stitches) may be required. 

You can then be given your post-surgery aftercare tips. A follow-up appointment will also be arranged to monitor your healing. Your dermatologist will be there to answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and keep track of your progress every step of the way.

Explore Your Skin Cancer Treatment Options at Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio

If you’re concerned about a new, suspicious, or evolving mole or dark spot, call the board-certified dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio for a skin cancer screening. We’re also happy to provide a second opinion for those recently diagnosed with skin cancer. Time is of the essence when it comes to skin cancer—but you do have options. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your health and safety.

Board-Certified Mohs Surgery Specialists in North Central Ohio

If you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer or are concerned about a mole or dark spot, call the specialists at Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio. Our providers are highly trained to identify and treat skin cancer of all types. Call (419) 664-5138 to schedule your appointment or send us a message online for more information.

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