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What is Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer?

Mohs micrographic surgery removes the skin cancer while sparing healthy tissue. A specialized surgeon removes the cancer and maps it out, then examines the skin under a microscope, only taking additional pieces if any cancer remains. This method allows a complex repair to be done that day and know that the cancer is gone and that a second procedure will not be required. This type of procedure is used for recurrent skin cancers or on delicate areas of the face, such as the nose.

To help minimize scarring and ensure full cancer removal, one technique used on the face and ears for both basal and squamous cell carcinomas is called Mohs micrographic surgery. This removes the cancer layer by layer, checking at each stage to see if the margins are clear, and saving as much tissue as possible. It requires special training and the presence of a lab pathologist to check the removed tissue for cancer cells, but it can be done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. Five-year cure rates are 99 percent.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Mohs surgery (also called Mohs micrographic surgery) is a surgical treatment for several types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. It allows for removal of the lesion while minimizing removal of otherwise normal and healthy adjacent skin. Mohs surgery is perfect for tumors located on the face (nose, eyelids, and forehead). It's also ideal for areas where you need to preserve healthy tissue because it significantly lessens the possibility of scarring or disfigurement.

Mohs surgery is one of the most successful surgical treatments available today for removing skin cancer because it uses a very precise method to "map" the tumor and the surrounding skin. This approach allows your surgeon to examine the tissue systematically and remove all traces of the tumor, while minimizing the removal of healthy surrounding skin. This approach allows the surgeon to examine 100 percent of the tissue margin that surrounds the tumor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.