Over the years, doctors and medical professionals have rapidly honed their techniques for removing tumors. As a result, Mohs surgery has become the gold standard for removing two of the most common forms of skin cancer while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible, including tissue in more sensitive areas. Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery offers personalized treatments for a wide range of skin conditions, including melanoma, among other types of skin cancer, and our Gainesville dermatologists are trained to perform Mohs surgery.
Why It's Done
Mohs surgery is used to remove many common skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, along with other kinds of melanoma or unusual skin cancers. If your skin cancer has one of the following attributes, Mohs surgery is an effective and efficient remedy.
- There Is A High Risk Of Recurrence, Or It Has Recurred After Previous Treatment
- They Are Located Where You Want To Preserve Healthy Tissue
- They Have Borders That Are Hard To Define
- They Are Large & Aggressive
How Do I Prepare For Mohs Surgery?
In order for you to be comfortable and happy with the outcome of your Mohs surgery, it is important to answer all questions about your medical history, such as any allergies you have or medications that you are taking, which includes over the counter drugs, prescription medications, herbal treatments, and vitamins. We also recommend quitting smoking as soon as possible as smoking can lead to poor wound healing.
What Happens During Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is performed in stages, which take place all in one visit. For the first stage, you will be injected with a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or epinephrine. A surgeon will then use a scalpel to remove a thin layer of any visible cancerous tissue, which can often have roots or extensions that aren't visible from the surface.
After removing this top layer, the sample will be carefully examined with a microscope to determine whether any areas have any remaining cancer. This process can last between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. While the sample is being examined, the patient will wait for the surgeon to return.
If there is any cancer left, the surgeon will remove more layers of tissue one by one until only healthy tissue remains. Once the site is cleared of all the cancer cells, the wound may be left open or stitched up. The only thing left would be to carefully follow your doctor's instructions for wound care, scar care, and follow-up to achieve the best outcome.
Is Mohs Right For Me?
When it comes to treating basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, Mohs surgery has one of the cure rates for skin cancers, 99% for untreated skin cancer and 94% for recurring episodes. In addition, this type of surgery is ideal for removing these cancer cells for areas around the eyes, nose, lips, ears, scalp, fingers, toes, or genitals, as well as for cancer cells that are large, aggressive, rapidly growing, or have recurred following previous treatments.