Mohs Surgery: What is it? - PIH Health

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Published on November 07, 2017

Mohs Surgery: What is it?

Mohs surgery - a woman with a mole

Mohs surgery - a woman with a moleIf you frequent a dermatology office, you’ve probably heard the phrase Mohs surgery and never thought anything about it unless, that is you’ve been a patient or have a loved one that has experienced it firsthand. So what is it, you ask? Mohs surgery is a precise technique used primarily to treat basal and squamous cell skin cancer. It allows removal of the skin cancer, layer by layer, and examination of 100% of the margin by the Mohs surgeon under the microscope. It is the most accurate, tissue-sparing technique used.

Mohs surgery is primarily used for the following reasons:

  • Basal and squamous cell skin cancers located on high risk locations where tissue sparing techniques matter, such as the face
  • Higher risk skin cancers, such as those that are recurrent, large or rapidly growing

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Mohs surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic.”

“Skin cancer can be sneaky, so it’s important to check your body regularly for unusual growths and get those yearly visits in with your Dermatologist. It’s important to know about Mohs surgery because it is the standard of care for high risk skin cancers in high risk locations,” states Rachael L. Moore MD with PIH Health Dermatology, Aesthetic Medicine & Mohs Surgery Center.

To learn more about Mohs surgery visit or to schedule an appointment with a Dermatologist, call 562.789.5429 or 562.967.2851.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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