The words cancer and cure don’t often appear hand-in-hand, so when you first learn that you have skin cancer, your reaction may be utter despair. It doesn’t help to learn that more than two people die from skin cancer every hour in the United States.
So you might be a little shocked when the next words out of your dermatologist’s mouth are exactly what you want to hear: A highly specialized procedure called Mohs surgery removes and cures 99% of newly diagnosed lesions.
Even if your cancer is a recurrence, you still have hope: Mohs has a 94% cure rate for lesions that have been treated previously.
At Specialists in Dermatology, our expert fellowship trained Mohs surgeons have been trained to perform the highly specialized Mohs surgery. Your skin cancer can be removed and cured at our offices in The Woodlands, Texas, and Houston, Texas.
What is Mohs surgery and how does it cure most skin cancers? This brief guide explains.
Mohs takes most of the day
Even though it’s a simple procedure, Mohs surgery is a time-consuming one. You should prepare beforehand by bringing a water bottle, snacks, reading material, and earbuds. You spend a lot of time, sitting in a chair, waiting.
Since only local anesthetic is used you can eat before-hand. We have a lounge to keep you comfortable, along with drinks and snacks to enjoy while you wait.
Mohs removes cancer layer-by-layer
Mohs is time consuming because the surgeon removes as small of a “layer” as possible.This approach minimizes the amount of healthy skin removed, therefore keeping the scarring less. The layer of tissue is then meticulously analyzed under the microscope. All tissue edges, 360 degrees, and the deep margin are evaluated. If cancer is identified the surgeon will remove more just in the positive section.
It is this methodical approach that results in such a high cure rate. This is how Mohs is different from a standard excision in which more normal skin (margin) is removed and the tissue is sent out for further testing with results available after several days.
After your fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon achieves clear margins in which not a single cancer cell is detected microscopically, the removal is over. Our surgeons specialize in reconstruction and typically repair the surgery site with sutures. With this technique the scarring is usually very minimal. For more detailed information and a video about Mohs surgery please visit mohscollege.org.
Take care of your surgical site
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to kick back and relax, you now have it. Your body needs time to heal, and you need to give it the tools to do that, including plenty of quality sleep and a relaxing daily routine without vigorous activities. We will provide instructions on how to care for your surgery site, including keeping the site clean and covered with fresh bandaging on a daily basis.
Our medical assistants are available for any questions. If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, or suspect that you have it, contact us for a screening or Mohs surgery today. Schedule your appointment by calling our office or using our convenient online contact form.