What Does Mohs Stand For?

Dr. Frederic Mohs developed this technique about 60 years ago. The procedure has been modified and refined over the years. Practitioners of the technique have kept Dr. Mohs' name in respect for his contribution. Mohs surgery has other names including Mohs chemosurgery, Mohs microscopically controlled surgery and Mohs micrographic surgery.

What Makes Mohs Surgery Like Other Surgery?

The Mohs surgeon uses conventional surgical instruments and removes malignant tissue during surgery.

What Makes Mohs Surgery Different From Other Types of Surgery?

The difference is what happens to the tissue after it is removed. After removal of all of the obvious tumor, the surgeon removes a thin layer of normal appearing skin surrounding the tumor. A map is made of the specimen. It is then processed in the laboratory. This processing takes approximately one hour. The surgeon then examines the specimen under the microscope. If cancer is present in the specimen, the Mohs surgeon marks its location on the map and then returns to the patient and removes more tissue in that area. This step is repeated, if necessary, until the tumor is completely removed.

What Are the Advantages of Mohs Surgery?

There are two primary advantages. First, by using the microscopic examination of the tissue as a guide, the Mohs surgeon is better able to remove all of the skin cancer. Secondly, by carefully mapping out the tumor, the surgeon removes cancerous tissue and leaves as much normal skin as possible providing a cure rate of 98-99%.