Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a procedure used to remove skin cancer. It is known for being precise, thorough, and having an extremely high cure rate. It is particularly effective against basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
Dr. Frederic E. Mohs (1910-2002) first developed the technique in 1936. The procedure should only be performed by a skilled and qualified surgeon. Dr. Richards at Torrey Pines Dermatology is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, and has been practicing for over sixteen years. Many patients are not aware that there is a difference in the training of fellowship-trained versus non-fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons. During a Mohs fellowship, fellows are required to perform over 1000 Mohs surgery cases including esthetically repairing the defect using flaps, grafts and side to side closures. Thus it is very important to choose a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in order to ensure complete removal of the skin cancer and the best esthetic results.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in the comfort of our office in La Jolla. During the procedure, Dr. Richards will remove the visible tumor along with a thin margin of surrounding tissue. The tissue is then carefully analyzed in our lab. During this process, Dr. Richards maps exactly where the tissue samples come from so she knows where to continue if she finds more cancer cells.
If more cancer is found another layer of skin will be removed and evaluated. Once the samples are clear the repair process will begin. Several different techniques can be used in the repair depending on the size and location of the wound and will be discussed in depth with the patient at the time of closure.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery has a very high cure rate. The in-depth examination of the tissue samples reduced the likelihood of any cancer cells being left in the patient’s skin. The cancer is, therefore, less likely to recur, and the patient will need to undergo the procedure only once.
Mohs surgery also reduces the amount of healthy tissue removed, and causes less scarring than other surgical treatments. It is the ideal treatment for cancers found on the face and hands. The benefits of Mohs surgery are endless. You can learn more about how this surgery technique can help you during a consultation with Dr. Richards at Torrey Pines Dermatology. During your visit Dr. Richards will review your pathology results with you and discuss the best course of treatment for your individual needs. Our office is located in La Jolla and we also serve clients in the San Diego and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!