Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

About Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs Surgery, also known as Mohs Micrographic Surgery, is offered here at Southwest Michigan Dermatology. Mohs surgery offers a way to remove cancerous cells while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. If you have been told Mohs surgery is the best option for you, or if you think it might be your best treatment option, give us a call today to set an appointment up with one of our 4 board-certified Mohs surgeons!

Mohs Micrographic Surgery Q & A

What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is an advanced surgical technique used to remove cancerous cells. The process involves multiple steps, with the goal of eliminating all detectable cancer while preserving as much of your healthy tissue as possible.

This technique is commonly used to treat basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. 

What happens during Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure and almost always completed same day. Unless your treatment area is covered by normal clothing, you probably won’t need to change into a treatment gown. 

An injection of local anesthetic ensures you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. You will remain awake, and most patients do not need a driver to accompany them.

You doctor will then cut away all of the tissue visibly altered by skin cancer and some of the edges.

Our dermatologist then takes the tissue sample to our lab, where it’s checked carefully for any sign of cancer along the margins. If cancer is detected, your doctor returns and carefully removes another incredibly thin layer of tissue, which is then checked under magnification for signs of cancer. 

This process continues until a layer of tissue is reached that shows no indication of cancer. At that point, your specialist determines the best way to close or cover the site to support optimal healing. We provide basic wound care all the way to skin graft, collagen and placental skin substitutes. If the area becomes large, we may refer you to plastic surgery for closure. 

How long does Mohs surgery take?

Mohs surgery isn’t a fast process. Every time a layer of tissue is removed, you’ll wait for up to an hour as that sample is checked for signs of cancer. This process can be repeated many times, depending on the size and depth of your cancerous lesion. 

You should plan to spend the entire day in the office. Bring plenty of reading material or electronic devices that can help you pass the time. You are also allowed to have snacks and eat during the waiting time between layers.

It can be frustrating not to know when you’ll be done, but the waiting periods between tissue removal are what make it possible to clear all signs of cancer without removing unnecessarily large areas of tissue. 

Call Today to explore Mohs surgery in greater detail at Southwest Michigan Dermatology or request an appointment online.