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Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for the removal of skin cancer. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments. It allows the doctor to do a complete microscopic examination so that all of the cancer is eliminated. Mohs surgery has the highest reported cure rate for skin cancer treatment.
Some skin cancers can appear smaller than they really are. They can have deep 'roots' below the surface of the skin making it difficult for a complete removal of the cancer. Mohs surgery is specifially designed to remove these cancers by tracking and removing these cancerous 'roots'. It is impossible to predict, before surgery, how much tissue will need to be removed, however, Mohs surgery only removes the cancerous tissue. It does not remove any of the normal, healthy tissue surrounding the cancer.
Mohs surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in Dr. McKay's office. The patient is awake during the procedure and will experience minimal discomfort. The sugery can usually be completed in less than four hours.
The Four Stages of Mohs Surgery:
1. The area to be treated is cleaned and injected with local anesthetics. The visible cancer is removed, along with a thin layer of additional tissue. The tissue is then processed and examined, while the patient waits.
2. Dr. McKay will then examine the entire undersurface, the complete edge of the area and all microscopic 'roots'. Upon this microscopic examination, if any remaining cancerous tissue is found, it will be removed at this time.
3. Stage 2 is repeated as many times as necessary to remove all the cancerous tissue.
4. When microscopic examination reveals there is no remaining cancerous tissue, the affected area will be repaired.
Dr. Mckay received specialized training in Mohs surgery from the American Society of Mohs Surgery. Call McKay Dermatology & MedSpa to schedule an appointment with Dr. McKay. She can provide you with detailed information regarding Mohs Micrographic Surgery.