Mohs micrographic surgery, or Mohs surgery, named after Frederic E. Mohs, MD, is known as “The Gold Standard” for skin cancer treatment due to its reliability and effectiveness. It is often used to treat a variety of skin cancers, including the most common types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Mohs surgery offers up to a 99% success rate for treating skin cancers, which is why it is a top choice among thousands of dermatologists..
At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, our board-certified dermatologists are Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons. If you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer, contact our office online or via telephone at 910-782-0028 to learn more about this highly effective treatment option.
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a highly precise surgical technique used to treat various forms of skin cancer. A primary benefit of Mohs surgery is the highest cure rates for skin cancers along with its conservation of normal healthy tissue. This means the cancer is removed with highest accuracy while leaving the smallest surgical defect. An additional benefit to Mohs surgery is that it is an outpatient procedure. Additionally, Mohs surgery is performed without general anesthesia (“being put to sleep”) using a local anesthetic.
During surgery, your Mohs surgeon uses a strategic mapping technique that involves:
- Removing your skin cancer in stages (also known as “layers”)
- Examining the removed tissue under a microscope to ensure all cancer cells have been eliminated.
Mohs surgery minimizes the amount of healthy tissue removed, which makes this a preferred treatment option compared with other procedures to remove skin cancers.
Mohs Surgery FAQs
Receiving a skin cancer diagnosis can be quite scary, and we understand there are many questions that come along with this diagnosis. Review our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Mohs surgery, and contact our office today to learn if this procedure is right for you.
By almost all standards, Mohs surgery is considered very safe. You are not put to sleep and you will go home the same day as the surgery. Furthermore, since your surgeon aims to remove as little healthy skin as possible, this minimizes the size of your incision while keeping the cure rates the highest amongst all treatment methods.
Like every surgery, there are potential complications but they are very minimal.
Some of the potential risks associated with Mohs surgery include:
- Potential scarring at the removal site
- Wound infection
- Postoperative bleeding and bruising
- Potential for numbness at the surgical site
It’s important to note that the potential risks of Mohs surgery are specific to each individual. During your surgical visit you may discuss the potential risks, complications, and benefits with your Mohs surgeon or ask other questions that may help you make the most informed decision about whether Mohs surgery is right for you.
Mohs surgeons use a local analgesic to numb the surgical site and relieve any potential pain associated with the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, patients can expect:
- While many Mohs surgeries take around four to six hours, we request that patients allow the entire day in case the procedure or reconstruction takes longer.
- Wear comfortable clothing. You will not be put in a hospital gown.
- Be sure to take all of your normal medications (and bring medications with you that you normally take throughout the course of a day)
- You may also wish to bring snacks, drinks and a tablet or cellphone for your entertainment
- Mohs surgery is a precise procedure completed in multiple stages. Between those stages, patients will relax in our comfortable waiting room while the dermatopathologist evaluates the removed layers.
Following the procedure, our Mohs surgeons will discuss aftercare instructions and any necessary additional treatment options, as well as schedule follow-up visits to ensure the success of the skin cancer removal.
There are a couple of ways to know that you have chosen the best possible Mohs surgeon:
- Review the Mohs surgeon’s credentials: they should have specialized training in Mohs surgery – ask your surgeon if they are “fellowship” trained
- Ask your provider if they are a Board Certified Mohs surgeon
- Ask the provider how many Mohs surgeries they have performed.
- Schedule a consultation to ask any remaining questions about the procedure, aftercare, and more.
Choosing a Qualified Mohs Surgeon
The Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington is a leader in Mohs surgery. Dr. Landon Stigall, MD, completed a Mohs Fellowship in Cutaneous Oncology. A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Stigall has a special interest in high-risk skin cancers and has several publications on advanced facial reconstruction and melanoma treatment.
Dr. Stigall has performed over 5,000 Mohs surgeries.
Unfortunately, not all Mohs surgeons are created equal. It’s important to do your research and choose a qualified, experienced Mohs surgeon for your condition.
Your Destination for Mohs Treatment
Your skin condition requires the utmost care; therefore, you should consider The Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington for your Mohs surgery. Our trained physician and staff will provide you with exceptional care in a comfortable, compassionate outpatient setting. We encourage you to make an appointment with us so we can work on a plan for your rapid recovery.