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What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized method for the removal of skin cancer that combines surgery with microscopic margin analysis. Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment for skin cancer today. It offers the highest potential for cure for most skin cancers – up to a 99% success rate – even if the skin cancer has been previously treated by another method. Mohs surgery achieves this high cure rate because the cancer is removed with the highest precision while healthy skin and tissue are spared.

The surgery consists of removing a disc or “layer” of tissue that gets processed into microscope slides in the Mohs laboratory in real time for the surgeon to examine. These slides are precisely mapped, marking any residual tumor found by the surgeon. This process is repeated until no residual tumor is identified. The advantages of this process include the highest cure rates for most skin cancers, as well as the smallest amount of normal tissue damage. Watch the video to learn why Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment available.

Mohs surgery is recommended for skin cancers that are located on cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the head, face, neck, hands, feet and genitalia and for skin cancers that have been previously treated and come back. Mohs surgery can also be used in other situations and these can be discussed with your Mohs surgeon. To learn whether Mohs surgery is an appropriate treatment for your skin cancer, find a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in your area. 

Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons can become members of The American College of Mohs Surgery. This is the only organization that requires its physician members who have completed residency, to successfully complete an additional specialized Mohs surgery fellowship which involves at least one year of extensive surgical training in the Mohs procedure, skin cancer pathology and reconstruction. For more information, read how ACMS Mohs surgeons learn to deliver the highest standard of care. 

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