Mohs surgery is specialized for skin cancer and involves a combination of excision and biopsy. Skin is removed in small layers at a time and analyzed under a microscope by a pathologist. It allows for excellent accuracy in skin cancer removal, sparing healthy tissue in ways that standard surgical excision cannot. This technique has become the gold standard for the removal of difficult skin cancers or lesions that are too big, in difficult locations that have a higher recurrence rate or when the pathology of the tumor looks aggressive. The advantage of the method is complete removal of the tumor confirmed under the microscope as well as allowing the surgeon to make the excision as mall as possible to optimize the repair. The first cut of the tumor is marked on the edges to be able to identify the location of the margins of the cancer under the microscope. If the cancer goes to the edge of the tissue removed, a second cut will be made which is also marked and evaluated under the microscope. this process is repeated until there is certainty that the cancer has been completely removed. The defect is then repaired. This technique gives the best cure rate.
- Complete histological removal of cancerous cells and roots
- High success rate
- Low recurrence rate for tumors
Costs are generally low relative to that of radiation therapy, excision with frozen sections, or surgery in hospital operating rooms. Mohs surgery is the most cost effective treatment for certain type of skin cancers and is covered by insurance.