Non-melanoma skin cancer is a serious problem in the US, as each year approximately 3 million people are diagnosed with the disease. However, the condition is treatable if caught early, and Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly successful treatment option. But what exactly is Mohs micrographic surgery.
What is Mohs micrographic surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a precise procedure that is used to treat certain types of skin cancer, specifically, basal cell carcinoma BCC and squamous cell carcinoma SCC. The specialized surgical technique was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930’s.
Mohs surgery has a high success rate, which is due to the fact that it removes the portion of the tumor, as well as the roots that lie below the surface of the skin.
How Mohs Micrographic surgery works
Local anesthesia is used to numb the area, and the tumor is then excised. A layer of tissue in the surrounding area is then surgically removed, and is taken to the lab for analysis. The surgeon cuts the tissue, uses dyes to color code it, and draws a map of the surgical site. During this time the wound is bandaged, and the patient awaits the results.
The tissue is divided in the lab and examined under a microscope, to determine if there is any evidence of cancer. If there is, the surgeon marks the area on the map, and then removes another layer of tissue from the patient in the spot where cancer cells are seen. This process is repeated until no more cancer cells are present. Depending on the extent of surgery the wound may be stitched, or left to heal on its own.
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If you are in the Memphis or Collierville, TN areas Levy Dermatology is our featured practice.
You can reach them at www.levydermatology.com, or by calling 901-295-0183.