Krauss Dermatology offers Mohs micrographic surgery to treat non-melanoma skin cancer effectively. The Mohs procedure makes it possible to remove cancerous cells with the highest cure rate and with the greatest sparing of normal tissue. 

“Slow Mohs” is a variation of the Mohs surgery procedure that provides the tissue sparing benefit of Mohs surgery but allows the melanoma tissue to be processed in a Dermatopathology lab overnight instead of by frozen section in our office.  This is necessary for melanomas because the overnight processing of the tissue allows better visualization than freezing the tissue.  Better visualization results in more accurate results and the highest cure rate for melanoma-in-situ and lentigo maligna melanoma that we often find on the face, hands and other sun exposed areas.

Mohs Surgery Boston

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes, which are found at the base layer of the epidermis. Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body but most often in sun exposed areas.  They commonly appear as black or brown spots with irregular shapes and diameters but can also less commonly be pink, white or red. 

When diagnosed in an early stage, melanoma is more likely to respond well to surgical treatment than later stages but still requires immediate attention and prompt treatment to avoid further growth.

There are many signs and symptoms of melanoma, such as changes to existing moles and the development of new, unusual growths on your skin. 

Melanoma can occur on any part of your body, but people are more likely to develop it in locations that receive greater exposure from sunlight: chests/backs for men; legs for women; neck & face (for either gender). 

What Is Mohs Surgery for Melanoma?

Slow Mohs Surgery is a type of surgery that is an effective treatment option for some types of superficial Melanoma. Lentigo maligna melanoma and Melanoma-in-situ are candidates for this procedure.  Slow Mohs Surgery removes the visible portion of the lesion with a rim of surrounding tissue to be sectioned and processed in a very particular orientation overnight so that all edges are completely visualized.  Those sections are then examined the next day by the dermatopathologist to determine if any area of the lesion extended beyond the removed margin.  If so, the Mohs surgeon takes an additional section of tissue only in that involved area which is sent overnight for processing once again.

This technique enables physicians to ensure they’ve removed all cancerous cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. This method has been proven more effective with fewer side effects than other types of surgeries, and less risk of recurrence for melanoma-in-situ and lentigo maligna melanoma. Patients have a high satisfaction rate from this process because it reduces both pain and recovery time, allowing them to return quickly back to their daily routine.

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Who Performs Slow Mohs Surgery?

Slow Mohs Surgery requires a team headed by an experienced Mohs surgeon who have a comprehensive knowledge of skin cancer, surgical reconstruction and pathology. At Krauss Dermatology, Dr. Suzanne Mosher is our expert in Mohs and Slow Mohs Surgery. 

In 2019, 2020 & 2021, she was voted to Boston Magazine’s Top Doctors list and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor List because of her expertise and excellence.

On the day of your surgery, Dr. Mosher will carefully examine the area to be treated before preparing you for the surgery by giving you local anesthesia to numb the surgical site only, keeping you comfortable but awake during the surgery. 

Slow Mohs patients are sent home overnight with a dressing in place until the overnight pathology is processed and read as completely clear.   The following day you will have the area repaired with great attention to the cosmetic result of your closure.  Close follow up by Dr. Mosher and her team helps in minimizing the appearance of scarring

How Can I Avoid Melanoma?

Here are some best practices that can help you avoid Melanoma:

  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Wear sunscreens to limit sunburns
  • Limit your exposure to UV rays as much as possible
  • Watch out for changing moles or new lesions on your body
  • See a board certified dermatologist yearly

“I really like coming here – specifically to see Dr. Norden (worth the drive). She’s very thorough, a good listener and detail oriented. I really appreciate that Dr. Norden doesn’t dismiss any question or concern – no matter how small or minor you may think it is – and she always explains very thoroughly why she’s recommending a particular course of action or treatment plan (I appreciate her clear communication). Dr. Norden is the best dermatologist that I have ever had – and she doesn’t hesitate to test anything that looks suspicious or that she wants confirmation about. My prior dermatologist waited over 18 months to test a suspicious spot on my nose and it turned out to be Basal Cell Carcinoma, requiring painful MOHs surgery and a skin graft. I feel like Dr. Norden is proactive, thorough and wouldn’t hesitate to test something sketchy. One other little thing that I LOVE about this doctor…I had some weird rough patch on my elbow that I had for years that I mentioned in passing during one of our appts. and the doctor gave me a couple of small free samples of this cream that cleared it right up in no time (like miraculously)…I later found out from my pharmacy that this miracle cream typically costs hundreds (literally hundreds) of dollars and most insurance companies don’t cover it. This one small gesture from the doctor saved me a ton of $. However, (more importantly) Dr. Norden saw a way she could solve a relatively minor problem, acted proactively and didn’t try to write me out a costly prescription when she had some samples readily available to help me. That’s how Dr. Norden rolls. Can’t beat that.”*

Take the Next Step

If you have further questions about Slow Mohs Surgery for Melanoma, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Krauss Dermatology. Call us at (781) 416-3500 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.