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.

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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.