Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery
In the late 1930s, Dr. Frederic E. Mohs developed a procedure called chemosurgery. But it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that he and fellow researcher Dr. Perry Robins realized its true curative potential for skin cancer. They brought this technique to New York University, where the first fellowship for Mohs surgery – as it came to be called – was created. All these years later, it has become the most successful form of treatment for skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, some forms of melanoma, and more.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
The Mohs micrographic surgical procedure is fairly simple but incredibly thorough. During one extended outpatient visit, a trained dermatologic professional will remove your skin cancer layer by layer. Each layer they remove is referred to as a stage, with the majority of patients becoming free of cancer after the second stage.
After each thin layer of skin is removed, your doctor will examine it in an in-house laboratory. Once their analysis shows that they’ve reached healthy skin, the surgery will be completed. On average, Mohs surgery can last anywhere from four to eight hours. Depending on the extent of your skin cancer, some procedures can last even longer.
When Mohs Is Used
Mohs surgery is the method of choice when treating most common forms of skin cancer. In general, surgeons use this treatment when patients’ skin cancer has a high likelihood or a history of recurrence. It’s also a viable option for patients with highly visible skin cancer, including cancer near the eyes, nose, lips, or ears, since it spares as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs surgery also works well for skin cancer with unclear borders or that is large and aggressive.
Benefits and Risks
Mohs micrographic surgery boasts quite a few benefits, making it the treatment of choice for a number of skin cancers. Some of its benefits include:
- 99% cure rate for previously untreated skin cancers
- 94% cure rate for recurring skin cancers
- Single-visit surgery length
- On-site lab work
- Use of localized anesthetic
- Spares greatest possible amount of healthy tissue
- Small, unobtrusive scarring
Like any surgical procedure, Mohs surgery carries the risk of post-treatment bleeding, tenderness, and infection. It also poses some less common risks, including temporary or permanent numbness, weakness around the surgical area, enlarged scarring, localized itching, or shooting pain.
Working with Dr. Fazeli
We are one of the few dermatology practices in the area that offers Mohs surgery for its patients. This unique offering is made possible thanks to Amin Fazeli, M.D., Ph.D., FACMS, who completed a Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology fellowship after he graduated from medical school. To date, Dr. Fazeli has performed over 4,000 Mohs surgeries and continues to use his expertise to help central New Yorkers beat skin cancer.
Make Your Appointment Today
If you or a loved one is battling skin cancer, Mohs micrographic surgery could be a viable option. And no matter what type of skin cancer you have, you need a medical team that knows what it takes to fight it. Plus, it helps when your care providers are compassionate patient advocates, too. At Dermatology Associates, our care providers fit this description, offering comprehensive skin cancer screenings, diagnoses, and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. To schedule an appointment and learn more about Mohs surgery, call us at 315-663-0100 today.