With a 99.5% cure rate, Mohs surgery is the most often used, most precise and effective treatment for skin cancer. Originally developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs, Mohs micrographic surgery has been refined into the most advanced and effective treatment for a variety of skin cancer types. With the Mohs technique, physicians can identify and remove the entire affected area while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed.
In Mohs surgery, skin cancer is removed in stages, one tissue layer at a time. Unlike other methods of tissue examination, once a tissue layer is removed, its edges are marked with colored dyes, and a map of the specimen is created. The tissue is then processed onto microscope slides and carefully examined under the microscope by the Mohs surgeon so that any microscopic roots of the cancer can be precisely identified and mapped. If cancer cells are seen, an additional tissue layer is removed only in areas where the cancer is still present. This saves as much normal, healthy skin as possible.
Mohs surgery requires one surgical visit, instead of numerous visits associated with radiation therapy, and Mohs is office based, simplifying the patient operative experience. Various studies have been conducted to calculate and compare Mohs surgery costs with those of traditional surgical methods. Mohs surgery is no more costly than standard excision and less expensive than radiation therapy or excision in an ambulatory surgery center. Because the process of Mohs surgery minimizes the risk of recurrence, it reduces and frequently eliminates the costs of larger, more serious surgeries for recurrent skin cancers.