Mohs surgery is a state-of-the-art procedure that removes the skin on a lesion layer by layer. Each piece of removed (excised) tissue is examined under a microscope on the same day as surgery, and these tissue layers are progressively excised until no tumor cells are seen.
The goal of this type of surgery is to remove all of the malignant cells and as little normal tissue as possible. This procedure is also performed on an outpatient basis, under a local anesthesia.
When Mohs Surgery Is Used
The types of cancer tumors most likely to be treated by Mohs micrographic surgery are:
- Tumors in cosmetically sensitive or functionally critical areas, such as around the eyes, nose, lips, scalp, fingers, toes, or genitals.
- Tumors that are large, aggressive, or growing rapidly.
- Tumors that are recurrent.
- Tumors that have ill-defined edges.
Mohs surgery is also often used with recurring tumors.
Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery
The advantages of using this procedure are:
- It offers the highest potential cure rate—up to 99%—for skin cancer;
- By removing the least amount of tissue, it maximizes the likelihood for preserving function and it also offers superior cosmetic results; and
- It causes fewer risks with anesthesia because it uses a local rather than a general anesthesia.
Glen M. Bowen, MD specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. At the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Dr. Bowen is the clinical director of the Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program and collaborates with physicians in plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncolog... Read More
Keith Duffy, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator. Dr. Duffy's clinical interests include Mohs surgery (a microscopic technique that allows skin cancers to be removed with very narrow surgical margins), diagnostic dermatopathology (th... Read More
Eric Millican, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He is fellowship-trained in Mohs Micrographic Surgery - a tissue-sparing technique for treating skin cancers with the highest cure rate. His clinical... Read More
Payam Tristani-Firouzi, MD has specialized expertise in Mohs Micrographic Surgery. This is a tissue-sparing technique for removal of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas with the highest cure rate. She is board certified in Dermatology and is a Fellow of the College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. Tristani-Firouzi’s main ... Read More
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