Mohs micrographic surgery is a type of cancer treatment that targets a tumor in its exact location and removes it without also removing healthy tissue surrounding it. This is a very specialized surgery is generally for patients who have a recurrent tumor, having a type of cancer that is likely to recur or having cancer that is in very sensitive areas of the body, such as face or hands.
Mohs surgery is particularly a skin cancer procedure, in the case of basal and squamous cell carcinomas, and occasionally melanoma. To determine whether a patient should be a candidate for Mohs, the doctor will check to see if the cancer is widespread if its edges are indeterminate, if metastases quickly, if scar tissue in the cancerous area, if the Cancer is a cosmetically sensitive area and whether cancer has recurred.
Mohs surgery targets tumors in its precise location and eliminates the roots, so that the healthy tissue around the tumor is spared, unlike other types of surgery that can ruin the healthy tissue while trying to remove the damaged tissues. It is very suitable for cancers of the skin because the skin cancers are much larger than they appear to be on the surface. The skin cancer roots can go deep into the skin, blood vessels, cartilage and nerves, and cancer may recur in the scar tissue of previously treated areas. Mohs can examine these hidden tumor areas and to determine exactly the amount of tissue to be removed and where. The skin defect result will generally lighter than larger than cancer itself, to Mohs an aesthetic benefit to patients, especially if the cancer is on the face, hands, or feet genitals.
Mohs is an outpatient procedure, during which the patient is fully conscious and experiences minimal discomfort. In the first part of the procedure, the surgeon removes the visible anesthesia and cancerous area on the surface of the skin and an additional layer of fabric. The tissue sample is sliced and schematically, frozen and examined under a microscope. The surgeon seeks roots cancer, examines the additional fabric layer taken to see if it is cancerous, and then creates a Mohs card diagram of the nature and location of cancer. The surgeon uses the Mohs map as a guide to remove the cancerous tissue. It is through this process several times to make sure it removes all cancers. The process usually takes only one day, often less than 4 hours.
Mohs surgery leaves a scar, as with all other types of surgery, but the scar will be fairly minimal. Patients can choose to let the wounds heal naturally. Collagen implants, laser resurfacing, chemical peels and skin grafting are other options. The scars often become less noticeable over time. There is a chance that cancer could recur, so patients must provide for post-operative examinations.
Statistically, in two of five patients who have some type of skin cancer, recurrence occurs within five years after treatment. Several medical institutions worldwide, including the Mayo Clinic, have conducted studies on the Mohs surgery, and they find that Mohs results in a rate of over 99 percent for new cancer cases and 95 percent cancers that recurred remedy.