What Is Mohs Surgery?

What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is named for Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed it in the 1940’s. This skin cancer treatment is a state-of-the-art procedure in which the physician serves as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon.

What is the process involved in doing Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is unique in its precision. Instead of removing the entire clinically visible tumor and a large area of normal-appearing skin around it, the specialized surgeon removes a minimum amount of healthy tissue to totally remove the cancer. Thin layers of tissue are systematically excised and examined under a microscope for malignant cells. When all areas of tissue are tumor-free, surgery is complete. This process should not be confused with frozen sections, which refers to random sectioning, examining only a small area of the overall specimen.

Why is Mohs surgery important?

Skin cancers often send out slender strands of malignant cells or “roots” into the surrounding normal tissue. This type of surgery relies on the use of a microscope to trace out and ensure removal of the skin cancer’s roots.

When is Mohs surgery indicated?

This form of procedure is indicated for skin cancers on the face, where preserving tissue for a good cosmetic result is desired. The procedure is also preferred when the cancer is extensive and grows very quickly, or when it is difficult to determine the extent of the lesion.

Lastly, when other standard methods have been unsuccessful, Mohs surgery offers another chance for cure. This specialized, micrographic surgery has the highest cure rate for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and is the treatment of choice for locally recurrent skin cancers, offering cure rates of 95 to 97 percent. Use of any other method to treat local recurrences achieves a cure rate of only 50 to 60 percent.

Why Choose This Type of Surgery?

Of all treatments for skin cancer, Mohs surgery:

  • Offers the highest cure rate (up to 99%)
  • Has the lowest chance of regrowth
  • Minimizes the potential for scarring or disfigurement
  • Is the most exact and precise means of removal

What can you expect from Mohs surgery?

  • Quick resolution
  • Rapid recovery
  • Peace of mind

Where is surgery performed?

Our laboratory is located in our office. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia. The surgery can usually be completed in half a day or less.

Informative Links Regarding the Mohs Procedure

Surgery Welcome Kit

Download the Moh’s Surgery Welcome Kit.
Download Wound Care Instructions

Why Choose a Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon?

Mohs micrographic surgery has set a new standard in skin cancer treatment. An increasing number of physicians are performing Mohs surgery, which is now widely accepted as the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer. However, not all Mohs surgeons receive the same level of training as Dr. Carranza, a fellowship trained Mohs surgeon.

When it comes to your skin cancer treatment, you deserve no less than the best. Dr. Carranza has achieved the highest degree of Mohs surgery qualification by completing an American College of Mohs Surgery approved fellowship. For you, this means peace of mind, knowing that you will receive superior quality and competency, as well as an optimal outcome.

Dr. Carranza and ACMS – Committed to Superior Care

The ACMS was established by Dr. Frederic Mohs himself, and its fellowship training program is generally acknowledged as the benchmark in Mohs surgery training. Through an extensive application and interview process, only the most qualified physicians are selected by ACMS to participate in a fellowship program. Participants must undergo a rigorous 1 to 2 year training program subsequent to completing a residency in dermatology.

During fellowship training, Dr. Carranza studied and trained under the guidance of veteran Mohs College surgeons who have demonstrated expertise in this specialized type surgery. A cornerstone of the ACMS fellowship training program is cultivating experience and judgment in each graduate. Since skin cancer occurs in a diversity of forms, degrees and locations, the program is set up to be thorough and stringent.

Dr. Carranza met the following requirements in completing her ACMS fellowship:

  • Participated in a minimum of 500 Mohs surgery cases
  • Learned to accurately interpret slides of tissue samples removed during Mohs surgery
  • Performed a vast array of reconstructions, ranging from the simplest to the most complex, multi-step repairs

As an ACMS graduate, Dr. Carranza gained an uncommon level of exposure, including everything from challenging tumor locations to rare tumor pathology and complex wound reconstruction. You can rest assured that she has the training and experience to achieve the best outcome from your skin cancer treatment.