Mohs Surgery: Skin Cancer Treatment

mohs surgery

History of Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery began in 1933 when Frederic Edward Mohs began to research the effect of injecting different chemicals into rats with cancer. He found some great result with Zinc and how it could be used to preserve it, to maintain the structure of the cells. This gave him the ability to create a paste with a few other minerals and prevent too much bleeding during surgery. This led him to be able to excise samples of skin that were frozen and viewed them under microscopes. He learned surgery and furthered his experience and research into what we know as the beginning of Mohs surgery. He found a lot of skepticism, and this didn’t end in 1930’s. This is something that has caused Mohs surgery to become a sort of hidden jewel in the medical community. While the process began in the 1930’s, it truly evolved in the 1960’s; when Dr. Perry Robins came into the picture. He studied alongside Dr. Mohs and perfected the procedure, making it what it is today.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a micrographic surgery that is considered the most effective options for the most common skin cancers. The procedure happens in stages, usually in one day and while the patient is waiting. This involves the removal and testing of the cancerous skin. Mohs surgery is the most well known for its effectiveness with basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). This is a process that has been around for decades and is trusted by many dermatologists to treat skin cancers. Mohs surgery is a procedure that is well known, and thus many think it is something new. But, it is important to remember that it has been around for a long time. It also has a great reputation for being safe, effective and easy.  You can read more about it here.

What Happens During Mohs Surgery?

The first thing is to mark the area of your biopsy. Depending on its location, you may be able to wear your clothes; but you may need to change into a gown. They will then position you in the best way to have access to the location and cover you up. You will be awake for the entire procedure, but they will numb you. This is when they will take a scalpel and remove a portion of the skin. The section is sent to a lab while you wait and they determine if they need more skin and they map the skin sample. This is where they decide how much more needs extraction and where. Once they extract the sample, they will determine whether to close the wound up or let it heal on its own. Depending on how many times they need to take more skin, the process might take several hours. It is best to plan for the entire day in the clinic.

Mohs Surgery and Where to Get It

Mosh surgery is not something you want just to get anywhere. You want to make sure that the facility you are at is qualified to offer this procedure. They need to have a surgeon who has a lot of experience with the surgery and has had the proper training. You don’t want to let just anyone cut into your skin. It is also important to know that they have the tools needed to see the treatment through. One big red flag is if there is no lab on the premises. If they cannot test the skin sample while you wait, you should find somewhere else for the procedure. It is also a good idea to ask about cases they have seen before or look at their reviews. This will give you an idea of patients before you and their experiences.

Mohs surgery is a simple procedure, but; it is also one that is very serious. It is important that you feel comfortable and know that you are in good hands. This will help the treatment go smoother, both for you and he surgeon. Having the procedure at a facility that is familiar with it will ensure that everything necessary is there and you will receive proper care. You don’t want to trust your skin to just anyone, especially with cancerous cells at hand. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can at the initial appointment. You will also want to ask your doctor about the facility. However, not every doctor is familiar with every facility. You may need just to make sure that you are comfortable after the consultation. This is where talking about your concerns comes in handy. If you are able to communicate with them and get answers that make you happy, you’ll be comfortable when you come in for the procedure. You can start your search here.