Mohs Micrographic Surgery is the most advanced and effective treatment procedure for skin cancer available today. The procedure is performed by specially trained surgeons such as Dr. Daniel Behroozan who have completed at least one additional year of fellowship training (in addition to the physician’s three-year dermatology residency) under the tutelage of a Mohs College member.
Initially developed by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, the Mohs procedure is a state-of-the-art treatment that has been continuously refined over 70 years. With the Mohs technique, Dr. Behroozan is able to see beyond the visible disease, to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor layer by layer while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed. As the most exact and precise method of tumor removal, it minimizes the chance of re-growth and lessens the potential for scarring or disfigurement.
Because Dr. Behroozan is specially trained in surgery, pathology, and reconstruction, Mohs surgery has the highest success rate of all treatments for skin cancer – up to 99 percent. The Mohs technique is also the treatment of choice for cancers of the face and other sensitive areas as it relies on the accuracy of a microscopic surgical procedure to trace the edges of the cancer and ensure complete removal of all tumors down to the roots during the initial surgery.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an effective and precise method for treating basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers.
Because the Mohs Micrographic Surgery process surgery features a systematic microscopic search that traces skin cancer down to its roots, it offers the highest chance for complete removal of the tumor while sparing the normal tissue surrounding it.
Clinical studies conducted at various national and international medical institutions – including the Mayo Clinic, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Royal Perth Hospital in Australia – demonstrate that Mohs surgery provides five-year cure rates exceed 99 percent for new cancers, and 95 percent for recurrent cancers.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is primarily used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas, but can be used to treat less common tumors including melanoma.
Mohs Surgery is appropriate when:
- The cancer is in an area where it is important to preserve healthy tissue for maximum functional and cosmetic result, such as eyelids, nose, ears, lips, fingers, toes, genitals;
- The cancer was treated previously and recurred
- Scar tissue exists in the area of the cancer
- The cancer is large
- The edges of the cancer cannot be clearly defined
- The cancer is growing rapidly or uncontrollably
Mohs surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed in a physician’s office. Typically, it starts early in the morning and can be completed the same day, depending on the extent of the tumor and the amount or reconstruction necessary. Local anesthesia is administered around the area of the tumor so the patient is awake during the entire procedure.
Reconstruction – Repairing the Wound
Dr. Behroozan is also trained in reconstructive procedures and often will perform the necessary reconstruction to repair the wound.
As soon as the affected area is declared cancer-free, Dr. Behroozan will discuss post-surgical options with the patient such as:
a small, simple wound may be allowed to heal on its own.
a slightly larger wound may be closed with stitches.
larger wounds may require a skin graft or a flap.
if the tumor is very large, another surgeon with special skills may be called upon to assist with reconstruction.
Post-surgical check-ups are recommended in order to monitor the patient’s progress and spot any possible cancer recurrence in a timely manner.
Since two of five patients with one skin cancer will develop another within five years, follow up is extremely important for early detection of any new lesions.