Moh's Micrographic Surgery

Q. How is it removed?

A. There are three separate steps in the removal of skin cancer by Moh's Micrographic Surgery: A) Surgical removal of the visible portion of the skin cancer with excision or curettage; B) surgical removal of a thin layer of tissue at the bed of the cancer; and C) examination of the excised tissue under the microscope. By thorough examination of the bottom portion of the removed tissue, the physician is able to trace out and exactly locate any additional areas for cancer left in the patient. Before this tissue is examined it is marked with color dyes to distinguish top from bottom and right to left. By doing this, we are able to pinpoint the exact location of any remaining tumor during the microscopic examination. If more cancer is present, the procedure is repeated but only the area of the remaining cancer is removed.

Q. How effective is Moh's Micrographic Suregery in the treatment of skin cancer?

A. Using the micrographic surgical technique, the percentage of success is very high, often 97% to 99% for basal cell carcinomas even if other forms of treatment have failed. Therefore, with this technique, an excellent chance of curee is achieved; however, no one can guarantee a 100% cure.

Q. What are the advantages of Moh's Micrographic Surgery?

A. Using microscopic examination, the micrographic surgeon can pinpoint areas involved with cancer and selectively remove only those areas. In this way, the skin cancer is traced out to its roots. This results in the removal of as little normal tissue as possible and the highest chance of cure.