MOHS Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery traces its roots to the 1930s with a man named Frederich E. Mohs, MD. Dr. Mohs invented a skin cancer removal technique that involved treating the skin with various chemicals and then removing layers of skin in order to remove the tumor. While the process has greatly changed in the last several decades (including no longer applying chemicals), the main idea remains the same: Mohs micrographic surgery is essentially the removing of skin cancer by removing individual layers of skin until the tumor is entirely gone.

Mohs surgery is a procedure that enjoys an extremely high success rate of completely removing cancerous cells 95 percent for recurrent basal cell carcinoma and an amazing 99 percent for untreated basal cell carcinoma. The process generally involves the administering physician to act as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon all in one streamlined process that can generally be completed within one day. The physician will first remove the tumor, then take a small sample of skin around the tumor and examine it microscopically. Any affected areas are mapped, and then another more specific layer is then taken off and examined. The process is repeated until no more signs of cancerous infestation can be found.

Because this process minimizes the amount of healthy tissue removed, it also minimizes the recovery time and appearance of scars after the procedure.

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