Although it was first developed in the 1930s, Mohs surgery is still one of the most effective ways of treating common forms of skin cancer. This type of surgery can be performed by Dr. Supriya Tomar on patients who live in Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach County.
Mohs surgery is named for Dr. Frederick Mohs, the doctor who developed this procedure. It is considered to be the most effective method of removing basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma because it completely eliminates cancerous cells while leaving as much healthy tissue intact as possible.
How is Mohs surgery performed?
This surgery requires analyzing tissue in multiple stages to be sure all cancerous cells have been removed. The patient will be administered a local anesthetic to numb the area.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the Mohs surgeon can begin. First, the surgeon removes the visible part of the skin cancer. Then the surgeon begins removing the cancer cells that are not visible to the naked eye. To do this, the surgeon removes the skin that may contain cancer cells one layer at a time. After removing a layer, it is prepared so that the surgeon can examine it under a microscope and look for cancer cells while the patient remains in the office. The layer-by-layer approach continues until the surgeon no longer finds cancer cells. In most cases, Mohs surgery can be completed within a day or less.
What are the benefits to having Mohs surgery?
Mohs has an impressive cure rate. For new cases of the most common types of skin cancer, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas, the cure rate is 99%. If the skin cancer has returned after a previous treatment, the cure rate for basal cell and squamous cell is 95%.
The cure rate is high because Mohs allows the dermatologic surgeon to look for cancer cells during the surgical procedure. Mohs continues until the surgeon no longer finds cancer cells.
Mohs also offers some other benefits. Because the surgeon removes only skin and tissue that contain cancer, the patient keeps as much healthy tissue as possible. This is especially important when the skin cancer develops on the face, ear, finger, toe, or the genitals.
Mohs can provide effective treatment for a skin cancer that is growing rapidly or uncontrollably. Mohs also can be effective when skin cancer develops in a scar, has unclear borders, or is large.
What else should patients know about Mohs surgery?
Since doctors cannot predict how deep the cancerous cells are, it is impossible for them to tell patients what their skin may look like afterward. The surgery sometimes requires physicians to extract large amounts of tissue, and this results in scarring.
Although being diagnosed with skin cancer can be frightening, the good news is that Mohs surgery can often be used to remove malignant cells. Those who notice changes in the appearance of their skin should contact Supriya Dermatology & Laser Center as soon as possible to obtain a diagnosis.
Dr. Supriya Tomar has successfully performed Mohs surgery on a number of patients in Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach County. Those who have been advised to undergo this procedure can take comfort in knowing they are in capable hands with this board-certified dermatologist.