Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a highly effective microscopically controlled surgical treatment for the most common types of skin cancer. This precise surgery involves both surgical removal of skin cancer and immediate examination of the affected skin under a microscope to ensure complete removal of the tumor. Doctors who perform Mohs surgery must receive specialized training in the procedure. Dr. Dyson, a board certified dermatologist and dermatopathologists in Arizona, performs this surgery on an outpatient basis at her dermatology practice in Tucson.
Mohs surgery is extremely effective at treating basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. For primary occurrences of these types of cancer, the cure rate with Mohs surgery is between 95% and 99%. It can also be used to treat melanoma, but typically has a lower cure rate, with ranges varying between surgeons. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, early treatment is critical to your recovery. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dyson will recommend an appropriate course of treatment, which may include Mohs surgery or our non-surgical skin cancer removal system, SRT-100.
The procedure for Mohs surgery is quite straightforward and the preparation required by the patient for the surgery in minimal. Most procedures are performed using only a local anesthetic, so typically there are no restrictions on what you can eat or drink on the day of the procedure. Before the procedure, Dr. Dyson will ask you about the medications and supplements you are taking, as some of these may increase the likelihood of bleeding. Please follow her instructions on which medicines to take or not take before the procedure. On average, the surgery lasts about four hours, but it can take longer. You may wish to bring a snack and something to read while you wait for the results of the microscopic analysis.
The aim of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible while doing minimal damage to the surrounding healthy skin. The procedure is performed by removing the tumor and a small margin of skin around the tumor. After each removal of skin layer, Dr. Dyson will examine the skin under a microscope. She will continue to remove small layers of skin around the tumor until she is certain that all of the cancerous tissue has been removed. Mohs surgery differs from local surgical excision in that it allows the doctor to verify that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of the surgery – and the surgery can continue until the doctor is able to ensure total removal. This approach increases the chance of a cure to the skin cancer and reduces the likelihood that the patient will need to undergo future treatments or surgeries.
After Dr. Dyson has verified that the last tissue sample removed is cancer-free, she will conclude the surgery. She will recommend the best way to repair the surgical wound, applying her knowledge and touch for aesthetics. Options include allowing the wound to heal on its own, using stitches, using a skin graft, or creating a skin flap from an adjacent area to cover the wound. The approach chosen will be based upon the extent of the operation and your medical history and preferences. When using the services of a cosmetic dermatologist like Dr. Dyson, you can be assured that she will work with you to achieve the best aesthetic result possible.
Discuss your surgical and non-surgical skin cancer removal options at our Tucson, AZ office near surrounding zip codes like 85749, 85750, 85718. Do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Dyson at (520) 838-0777. Prompt treatment is an important step in your recovery from skin cancer.