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How Mohs Micrographic Surgery Treats Skin Cancer

If you or a loved one are affected by skin cancer, then you may be familiar with Mohs micrographic surgery. Developed in the 1930s, the Mohs technique has evolved into one of the most successful skin cancer treatments to date.

Dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are highly experienced in this procedure, and Mohs patients have seen some truly remarkable outcomes over the years. Let’s take a look at how Mohs micrographic surgery works.


Atypical Moles and What They Mean

Learning how to examine your skin for skin cancer symptoms and signs can dramatically reduce the risks associated with skin cancer. Searching for atypical moles that are unusual-looking and show irregular features when examined under a microscope is a good place to start when determining if you may have skin cancer.

Those with 10 or more atypical moles have 12 times the risk of melanoma. These moles can emerge anywhere on the body and their appearance can vary greatly. It is best to know your skin and keep track of the moles you already have, which will help you track any new, changing, or unusual moles. After atypical moles are found, make an appointment with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment option.


Skin Cancer Treatment Through Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is a common and effective skin cancer treatment. The physician is able to remove as little of the affected tissue as possible while still providing a successful cure rate.

Local anesthesia will be given during the procedure before the tumor portion is removed. Once removed, the tumor is taken to an onsite lab to determine if any skin cancer remains. This portion of the procedure often takes the longest while doctors determine the presence of cancer cells. If cancer cells remain, another layer of tissue is taken and examined again in the lab. The doctor repeats this process until no cancer cells remain.

When the process is finished, the doctor will determine if the wound needs to be left open to heal or stitched closed. Whether left open or closed, follow the doctor’s instructions closely to care for the wound and scar to avoid any kind of infection. After the procedure, we suggest having someone drive you home since you were likely given anesthesia. Once the anesthetic wears off, patients will experience little to no discomfort.


Who Should Have Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

This surgery is recommended for basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). It is also recommended for BCCs or SCCs that are aggressive or growing rapidly. Those with melanoma should consider Mohs too.

Patients with BCCs, SCCs, or melanoma choose to have Mohs micrographic surgery for many reasons. The most common reasons include the treatment’s cost-effectiveness and its quick results.

With the end goal of removing as much of the skin cancer as possible while doing minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly efficient and effective surgery to choose as a skin cancer treatment. Keep in mind that once diagnosed with skin cancer, you are at an increased risk of developing it again.

If you live in or around the Bloomington, Illinois area, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can assist you in determining if you have skin cancer and if you are a good candidate for Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Make an appointment at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute and take the first step toward being cancer-free.

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