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Why Mohs Surgery is the Gold Standard in Treating Skin Cancer

Mar 16, 2023
Why Mohs Surgery is the Gold Standard in Treating Skin Cancer
A sign of cancer in the form of a suspicious mole or lesion can be unsettling. Fortunately, specialized surgery can remove cancer without disturbing healthy tissue.

Skin cancer surgery can be demoralizing, especially if the area affected is highly visible, such as on the face or hands. Dr. Frederic E. Mohs developed Mohs surgery in the 1950s to check fresh tissue samples on the spot without freezing them and sending them off to a lab for inspection.

At Leading Edge Dermatology in Plantation, Florida, Elyse Julian, DO, FAAD, often performs skin cancer surgery using the Mohs procedure for higher success rates and less visible scarring.

Why Mohs Surgery is the gold standard

With a success rate of up to 99%, Mohs surgery is the most effective procedure for skin cancer and is considered the gold standard treatment. There are several reasons for the success and popularity of the Mohs method:

Instant sample examination

Instead of taking tissue samples during skin cancer surgery, freezing them, sending the patient home, and then recalling them if cancer cells are found at the margins of the surgical site, Mohs surgery includes an examination of each slide of fresh tissue. This is done while the patient waits, so further layers can be taken to catch all of the margins.

100% margin confirmation

As each layer of skin tissue is examined, there’s the chance to check 100% of the margins of the site. Traditional surgery only examines 1% of margins. Checking all margins means the chances of removing all cancerous cells in one surgery are much higher. 

Less visible scarring 

Since Mohs surgery targets only tissue with cancer cells, there’s less removal of healthy tissue. Restructuring the surgical site is much easier, minimizing scarring. This can be especially important for surgery in visible or sensitive areas, like the face, hands, or genitals.

Preparing for Mohs surgery

In preparation for Mohs surgery, our doctors want you to know a few key steps you can take to make things go smoothly and ensure an easy recovery.

  • Stop smoking as it interferes with your body’s natural ability to heal wounds
  • Talk to your doctor about NSAIDs and prescription blood thinner use
  • Pause herbal supplements as some can interfere with sedative drugs
  • Don’t drink for at least 24 hours pre-surgery for better blood pressure

Do you need Mohs surgery? Our experienced, compassionate team is happy to answer any questions. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Julian at Leading Edge Dermatology today. You can get in touch by calling our Plantation, Florida office at 954-371-2208 or book your appointment online for maximum convenience.