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Dermatology & Skin Surgery Specialists of Arizona

Mohs Surgery

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with millions of cases diagnosed each year. While most skin cancers can be effectively treated, early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial to optimize outcomes. Mohs Micrographic Surgery, named after its founder Dr. Frederic Mohs, is a highly specialized and precise surgical technique that offers excellent results in treating skin cancer, especially in areas where preserving healthy tissue is essential. Mohs surgery is considered a gold standard in dermatology for skin cancer treatment in cosmetically sensitive areas.

 

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical technique primarily used to treat skin cancer. It’s renowned for its exceptional precision, allowing the removal of cancerous tissue while sparing as much healthy skin as possible. This procedure is particularly valuable for skin cancers located in critical areas, such as the face, ears, nose, around the eyes, scalp, neck, hands, feet, and genitals, where preserving cosmetic and functional aspects of the skin is vital.

How Does Mohs Surgery Work?

Mohs surgery is a multistep procedure performed by a trained dermatologic surgeon

  • Local Anesthesia: Before the surgery begins, the lesion is numbed with local anesthesia to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  • Tumor Removal: The Mohs Surgeon starts by debulking the tumor, or removing the visible portion of the tumor using a curette. The surgeon then cuts around the tumor with a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Mapping and Processing: The excised tissue is carefully inked, mapped, and divided into sections. These sections are then processed and examined under a microscope.  
  • Microscopic Examination: The surgeon analyzes the tissue sections to check for any remaining cancer cells at the margins. This process is repeated for all sections until cancer-free tissue is achieved.
  • Tissue Preservation: The procedure continues until all cancer cells are removed, preserving the maximum amount of healthy tissue.
  • Closure: Once the surgeon is confident that all cancerous tissue has been removed, they will discuss the best method for wound closure.  Surgical techniques for closure may involve suturing in a straight line, or may require a more sophisticated closure such as a flap or a graft.  The closure technique is selected in order to minimize scarring and optimize functional and cosmetic outcomes.
Why Choose Mohs Surgery?
  • High Cure Rates: Mohs surgery has one of the highest cure rates for skin cancer, often exceeding 99% for primary basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Minimized Tissue Removal: This technique focuses on preserving as much healthy tissue as possible, making it ideal for treating skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive areas.
  • Precise Margin Assessment: Microscopic examination of 100% of the margin ensures that the surgeon removes all cancer cells, reducing the need for repeat surgeries.
  • Cosmetic Outcomes: Mohs surgery prioritizes preserving appearance and function, making it a preferred choice for head and neck skin cancers.
  • Minimal Scarring: The meticulous closure techniques used in Mohs surgery help minimize scarring, further enhancing cosmetic results.
Why Choose Dermatology and Skin Surgery Specialists for your Mohs Surgery?

Dr. Anne Walter is a fellowship trained and board certified Micrographic Dermatologic Surgeon.

Dr. Walter completed a very sought after Mohs surgery and cosmetic fellowship with Dr. C. William Hanke in Carmel, Indiana.  During her fellowship year, she participated in more than 2000 skin cancer surgeries.  Shortly after her fellowship, Dr. Walter founded Dermatology & Skin Surgery Specialists.  Since opening, she has completed over 10,000 mohs surgery cases. Dr. Walter performs closures in over 95% of her cases, which means the entire procedure is done same day, in office, without surgery center fees or general anesthesia.

Not only is Dr. Walter a skilled Mohs surgeon, but she also prioritizes patient comfort and making the day as enjoyable as possible for patients.  Dr. Walter and her mohs team are experts at putting patients at ease and creating an environment of conversation and laughter.  Dr. Walter’s surgery team of medical assistants has over 20 years of experience with her.

Patient Resources

The American College of Mohs Surgery provides this helpful flip book for further information.

flipbook

Why choose an American College of Mohs Surgery Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon?                               https://www.mohscollege.org/for-patients/why-choose-an-acms-surgeon 

Conclusion

Mohs surgery is a highly effective and precise technique for treating skin cancer, offering outstanding cure rates while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. If you or a loved one is facing a skin cancer diagnosis, consider consulting with a board-certified and fellowship trained dermatologic surgeon experienced in Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery can provide you with the best possible result in your skin cancer treatment journey. Remember that early detection and prompt treatment are key to successful outcomes, so don’t delay seeking medical attention if you suspect skin cancer. Your skin’s health and your overall well-being are worth it.