If your dermatologist has discovered that a concerning spot is skin cancer, you are one of nearly 4 million people in the US to receive that diagnosis this year. While common, skin cancer is usually very treatable, especially when caught in the early stages. Mohs surgery is a precision form of skin cancer treatment that minimizes damage to the surrounding skin for a smaller scar and less recovery time together with the highest cure rate.

Mohs Surgery Boston and Wellesley Hills

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is a surgical form of skin cancer removal. It is only performed by experienced, board-certified dermatologists with additional years of training and certification. Mohs surgery is the most effective way to treat basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common types of skin cancer. However, it can also be used to treat superficial melanomas (“slow Mohs”) and other, more uncommon cancer types. 

Mohs surgery is an in-office procedure performed with a local anesthetic. Your dermatologic surgeon performs the procedure by removing the visible skin cancer, processing and staining the specimen in a very specific way, and then checking all the edges to see if any remains. The process is continued until the edges or margins of the incision have no remaining cancer cells. As a result, they remove only as much skin as necessary with the highest chance of complete cure. 

How Does Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery Work?

Your Mohs surgery will be scheduled after a biopsy, or another test determines that you have a basal cell or squamous cell type of skin cancer. During the procedure, the area is numbed, and the surgeon excises the cancer and a small amount of surrounding skin. 

This removed tissue is immediately processed and stained, then examined under a microscope.  If cancer cells are still seen on the margins, your dermatologist will remove another thin margin for examination. This process continues until the microscopic examination shows only healthy skin with no remaining cancer. The procedure takes place while you wait, avoiding repeated visits or waiting for test results.

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What is Recovery Like After Mohs Surgery?

Your healing after Mohs surgery depends on the size and location of the area where your dermatologist removed the skin cancer. The size of the incision will vary widely depending on how much tissue was removed to achieve cancer-free margins. You will be provided with instructions to guide you through caring for your incision. You may need to limit certain activities depending on the location of your surgery to minimize the risk of bleeding and increase your healing speed. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Mohs Surgery?

Only an examination and assessment by a dermatologist can determine whether Mohs surgery is the best way to treat your skin cancer. Squamous and basal cell carcinomas can be treated this way when they are in particular areas where extra skin is not plenty such as the face, scalp, neck, hands, lower legs, and feet.  Mohs is also recommended when skin cancer has recurred post-previous treatment, is large, or is an aggressive variant.  Some forms of superficial melanomas are treated similarly with “Slow Mohs” which requires overnight tissue processing.  The team at Krauss Dermatology will work with your medical doctors if you have any health conditions that may make the surgical preparation, procedure, and post-operative course more challenging.

Dr. Krauss and her team are so professional, caring and kind. Dr. Krauss takes time and shows she really cares, not to mention she is so knowledgeable and confident. She is super punctual and a pleasure to see as her patient.

Take the Next Step

If you have further questions about Mohs surgery, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Krauss Dermatology. Call us at (781) 247-5593 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.