What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

  • The procedure was developed in the 1930s at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Frederic Mohs
  • This surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it allows the complete microscopic examination of the removed cancerous tissue so that all
    the “roots” and extensions of the cancer can be eliminated in the same day

What to Expect During Your MOHS Surgery

  • You will be placed under local anesthesia
  • First, the visible tumor will be removed and a temporary sterile dressing will be applied to the wound while the tissue is processed.
  •  Each layer is carefully identified and mapped by Dr. Yen to ensure the precise orientation of the specimen.
  • The cancerous tissue is examined by Dr. Yen under a microscope to see if any cancer cells still remain at the margins.
  • If any cancer remains, additional layers of skin continue to be removed and examined under the microscope
  • The process continues until all the cancer is cleared

Duration of the Surgery

  • Although most Mohs cases can be completed in three or fewer stages, it is not possible to predict the extent of the skin cancer. The time spent in surgery is minimal compared to the time needed to microscopically process and examine the removed tissue.

  • It is advised to reserve the entire day for this procedure.

More information about Mohs Micrographic Surgery is available from the ACMS.

Mohs Info Sheet

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