Mohs Micrographic Surgery for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Provided by Dr. Brian Sandler - Metro Detroit Michigan Moh's Surgeon

Surgery Overview

Mohs micrographic surgery involves removing a skin cancer one layer at a time and examining these layers under a microscope immediately after they are removed. This procedure allows for a close examination of each layer of skin to detect cancer cells. It also allows a minimal amount of tissue to be removed while ensuring removal of all the cancer cells.

A local anesthetic is injected into the skin before the surgery. Your doctor then begins to remove the skin cancer and a small amount of healthy tissue, one layer of skin at a time. Each tissue layer is prepared and examined under the microscope for cancer cells. Surgery is complete when no more cancer cells are detected.

Why It Is Done

Mohs micrographic surgery may be used for removal of skin cancer that:
  • Is likely to return. Mohs micrographic surgery is more effective in obtaining cancer-free margins for cancers that have irregular borders and a history of removal and recurrence.
  • Is located in visible areas or areas where skin tissue should be preserved, such as on the scalp, face, ears, nose, eyelids, lips, and neck.
  • Is growing quickly or located on the extremities.
  • Has a high risk of spreading to other parts of the body, such as in some squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Is an aggressive form of basal cell carcinoma

How Well It Works

Mohs micrographic surgery is the most effective treatment for skin cancer. This technique preserves as much nearby healthy skin as possible. Treatment with Mohs surgery offers the highest rates of cure for patients with basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery has a 99% cure rate.

What To Think About

Mohs micrographic surgery is the best procedure to preserve skin tissue surrounding the cancer while at the same time providing the highest cure rates available. The resulting surgical wound can usually be repaired on the same day by the Mohs Surgeon, using facial-plastic surgery techniques. Mohs surgery enjoys a high degree of patient satisfaction and has become state-of-the-art treatment in skin cancer treatment.