Learn More About Mohs Surgery

If you are fortunate enough to live in a mild climate with plenty of sunshine, you know the benefits of those sunny days: plenty of outdoor activities such as running, golf, tennis, cycling and boating. Plenty of sunshine and fresh air will also boost your natural Vitamin D stores and leave you feeling invigorated.

The Disadvantages of All That Vitamin D

The downside to all that sun exposure and outdoor activity is an increased risk of skin cancer. Chances are one in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by their 70th birthday. If you’ve been diagnosed with either Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma, your dermatologist may have recommended the Mohs procedure, or Mohs surgery as a first line of treatment.

What Happens During Mohs Surgery?

Great news! The Mohs procedure is done right in your skin specialist’s office or an outpatient facility. The procedure is done in stages in a single visit. The dermatologist or surgeon will first numb the area with a local anesthetic and then will remove very thin layer of skin.

The skin specimen is then examined under a microscope, and the surgeon will determine if any cancer cells are present in that layer. If cancer cells are present in the first specimen, the specialist will know the precise location of the cancer cells and will remove another layer within the affected area only.

The surgeon continues to remove and examine isolated, thin layers of skin until cancer cells are no longer present in the specimen. Since all the layers are examined in the laboratory while you wait, there is no need for a return visit to remove all the cancerous skin cells.

The Mohs procedure is considered to be the Gold Standard of treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma in that it spares the healthy surrounding tissue and minimizes scarring. It is mostly used on areas such as nose, ears, eyes, lips, and your fingers and toes. Mohs surgery preserves the full function of these areas as well as their cosmetic appearance.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the Mohs procedure is the first line of treatment preferred by dermatologists and surgeons. The procedure is done under local anesthetic on an outpatient basis, and will eliminate cancerous cells while retaining the function and appearance of the affected area.

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