Mohs surgery is a technique used to treat skin cancer by removing layers of cancerous skin until only cancer-free skin remains. The surgery was developed in the 1930s by Frederic Mohs and is a conservative yet effective way to treat skin cancer.
Mohs surgery is considered a great treatment option for most skin cancers, such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. It is especially considered for skin cancers involving areas where not much skin is available, such as hands, feet, nose, face, ears, eyelids or mouth. It is also a very good choice for lesions that continue to grow back after they have been surgically removed because it allows for more complete removal of the cancerous cells.
Removal of skin cancers through Mohs surgery has the advantage of completely removing the skin cancer while preserving the greatest amount of healthy tissue. During surgery, the Mohs surgeon carefully examines the tissue to make sure the cancer cells are completely removed. Because the Mohs surgeon is also the pathologist reading the slides, assessment of the layers of skin can be performed during the procedure.
Most common skin cancers are treated by Mohs surgery with great success. Some controversy does exist about using Mohs surgery for the treatment of melanoma. If you have melanoma, ask your doctor if Mohs surgery is an option for you.