Services & Procedures
Mohs micrographic surgery is a safe and highly effective technique whereby skin cancers are removed under complete microscopic control. In Mohs surgery, a minimal area of skin is removed around the visible cancer. Detailed maps are then drawn of the area, and 100% of the tissue margin is examined under the microscope to be sure all of the cancer and its roots are gone. If any cancer remains, that exact area of involvement is sampled, and the entire process is repeated until the cancer is totally eradicated. This procedure allows physicians trained in Mohs surgery, to see beyond the visible disease, and to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue intact and unharmed. Mohs surgery minimizes the chance of regrowth and decreases the potential for scarring or disfigurement.
Indications for Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is used primarily to treat basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, but can also be used to treat less common tumors, including melanoma. Mohs surgery is indicated when:
- The cancer is in a difficult area where it is important to preserve healthy tissue for maximum functional and cosmetic result, such as eyelids, nose, and lips
- The cancer was treated previously and has recurred in the same area
- The cancer is large
- The edges of the cancer cannot be clearly defined with the naked eye
- The cancer grows rapidly or uncontrollably
Advantages to Mohs Surgery
- High cure rate – 99% for untreated skin cancers and 95% for recurrent cancers. In Mohs, 100% of the margin is viewed, yielding a higher cure rate. Unlike Mohs surgery, with a routine pathology lab, only a small percentage of the removed tissue is evaluated with 1% of the margins viewed. If cancer cells are present in unexamined sections, they will be missed and the cancer can recur.
- Sparing of tissue which offers a better cosmetic outcome. Since the Mohs surgeon is also the pathologist and by using the mapping technique with microscopic control, the mohs surgeon can pinpoint areas involved with cancer that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Healthy tissue is spared by taking a minimal margin around the cancer, therefore decreasing the size of the final defect which in turn gives you superior cosmetic outcome.
- Tumor Removal in One Day – Because the Mohs procedure is performed in the surgeon’s office and the pathological examination is conducted immediately, the entire process is most often completed in a single day. Unlike Mohs surgery, with standard surgery, the slides are not examined the same day allowing the chance of finding a positive margin at an outside pathology lab and having to perform surgery again at a later date to try and achieve a negative margin.
Click here for the Mohs Surgery Brochure »
Click here for video demonstration of Mohs Surgery »
Click here for before and after images »
Click here to see Dr. Rausch talking about Mohs Surgery to channel 12 news »