Frederic E. Mohs, MD developed this technique in the late 1930’s but it became more widely known and commonly recommended in the 1960’s. It is considered the gold standard for treating the two most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The cure rate is 99% for all new skin cancers and 94% for recurrent lesions, the highest cure rate of all possible skin cancer treatments.
The procedure is recommended to consistently remove all of the dangerous cells while sparing healthy tissue and leave the smallest possible scar. Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment to remove BCCs and SCCs in cosmetically and functionally important areas like the on the face, fingers, toes and genitals. Skin cancers that are recurrent, rapidly growing, particularly large or have indistinct edges are also good candidates for Mohs micrographic surgery.
For Mohs Surgery in Villanova or Collegeville, contact our dermatologists today at 610.525.7800!
The procedure is done in stages, and is performed in an out-patient setting under local anesthesia. All the lab work is done on site while the patient waits comfortably. After removing a thin layer of the cancerous lesion, the surgeon examines it under a microscope and inspects the borders for any remaining cancer cell. If any cancer remains, the surgeon is able to identify the exact area where they are and then removes another thin layer of tissue from that precise location. The doctor repeats this process until no cancer cells remain.
After the entire malignant lesion is removed the surgeon will carefully plan the repair and precisely exact his/her plan in order to maintain aesthetic and functional goals. The entire procedure can last as little as a couple of hours but can extend to many more depending on how many stages are required to completely remove the cancer. We understand that even though this is not open heart surgery, it is still a foreign experience and can be surrounded by feelings of stress and anxiety. At Bryn Mawr Dermatology, not only do we have exceptional surgeons and support staff, we provide a special waiting room with reading material, a television, and snacks and drinks for our patients as they are patiently waiting.
“My work has always required an attention to detail. I ensure every person has a good experience at our practice. I often ask myself: ‘If this were my family member, how would I treat him/her?’ I treat patients like my own family. For me that is the ultimate test if a physician is serving patients well.”
“I chose to specialize in Mohs Micrographic Surgery because it is the most precise medicine available to combat the most prevalent cancer in the world. I have the pleasure of spending hours with every one of my patients while creating their most aesthetically pleasing surgical outcome.”
Patients are normally able to drive themselves home and partake in normal daily activities after the procedure. Tylenol is recommended if pain is experienced, but is not often necessary. Wound care is provided verbally and in writing and mainly consists of keeping the surgical area clean, dry and covered. The sutures are removed approximately one week after surgery and then it is back to normal: sun protection every day to help prevent more of those BCCs and SCCs.
Although Mohs Surgery is an invasive procedure that requires full skin thickness removal of your skin cancer, we strive to make the experience as comfortable as possible and to provide you with the best possible clinical and aesthetic results. Please see the following masterpieces, as completed by our Bryn Mawr Dermatology Mohs specialists. The images depict (1) what the skin cancer looked like at its diagnosis, (2) the open wound after the entire skin cancer was removed, (3) the surgical repair on the day of the visit, and (4) the healed wound after 3 months.
Warning – the photographs below are graphic in nature! Click on the examples in the accordion below.
Bryn Mawr Dermatology is proud to offer Mohs Micrographic Surgery in both our Villanova and Collegeville loactaions.
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