Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is the most effective treatment for skin cancer today with cure rates as high as 95-99%. It is typically used to treat skin cancers of the head and neck or large tumors on the trunk and extremities. The technique, developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs, offers the highest potential for cure even if the skin cancer has been previously treated by another method.
The Mohs surgery procedure is a fairly simple concept. After the site is clearly identified, local anesthesia is administered. The surgeon then removes the cancer with a small margin of normal looking tissue to capture any extensions of the tumor that are not visible. The wound is bandaged and the patient waits while the tissue is processed. The surgeon carefully examines it microscopically to be sure that the skin cancer has been completely removed. This portion of the procedure takes the longest (about 1 hour).
If the edges and depth of the tissue are tumor-free, then the skin cancer has been cured. If the cancer is still detected at any portion of the margin, a representation of it is drawn on a map and the patient is informed that another piece of tissue must be taken precisely where the tumor is still present. The precise mapping helps to preserve tissue so that only the areas affected by the cancer are removed. This step is repeated as many times as is necessary until the skin cancer is completely treated and the margin is clear.
Once the skin cancer has been cured, the surgeon will perform a repair if one is required. The type of repair needed depends on the size, location and extent of the wound. If stitches are not needed, the surgeon will discuss allowing the wound to heal on it’s own over several weeks.
What is a Mohs Surgeon?
Both Dr. Steven Richardson and Dr. Faith Stewart completed a Procedural Dermatology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the directorship of the highly-acclaimed Mohs surgeon, Dr. Robert Stanley Taylor. While there, the doctors performed over 2000 Mohs surgeries combined. Over the years, they have continued to acquire extensive experience that has enabled them to provide the highest level of care.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, please use the following link: skincancermohssurgery.org