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Mohs Surgery: What Does It Treat and How Effective Is It?

Mohs Surgery: What Does It Treat and How Effective Is It?

Skin cancer is the most common form of the disease and fortunately, one of the most survivable. Treatment for any form of cancer has the goal of removing all cancerous cells so that they can’t spread. Simple excision of skin cancer doesn’t assure that all cells are gone. 

Jennifer Baron MD specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery, a technique that assures maximum tumor removal while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. An in-office procedure performed under local anesthetic, Mohs surgery is the most precise and effective skin cancer treatment, with success rates reaching as high as 99%.

What is Mohs surgery? 

Developed by and named for Dr. Frederick E. Mohs, Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized dermatologic procedure designed to target cancerous cells in your skin by removing one thin layer of skin then evaluating it under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If a layer contains part of the tumor, Dr. Baron takes another layer, continuing until she can find no more cancer cells.

Depending on the amount of tissue removed, you may need treatment for the target area, but in some cases, you won’t need stitches and your wound will heal well with bandages only. In the cases of large tumors, skin grafts may be needed.

What does Mohs surgery treat? 

The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs surgery may be recommended for both types when certain conditions exist, such as:

Melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer. Mohs surgery is typically only recommended for early stage lentigo malignant melanoma, a cancer type that remains close to the skin’s surface. There are other rare types of skin cancer that may be candidates for Mohs surgery. 

How effective is Mohs surgery?

If you’re a good candidate for Mohs surgery, you’re virtually assured success. While the process can be time consuming, you’re able to read or otherwise entertain yourself between samples, until there’s no sign of cancer. 

With a secondary goal of taking as little healthy tissue as possible, Mohs also provides positive aesthetic and functional outcomes, affecting your appearance and movement as little as possible. When you do require minor reconstruction, Dr. Baron can often do that on the same day as your Mohs surgery. 

Dr. Baron has specialized training in Mohs micrographic surgical techniques, so you’re receiving the finest care available at the leading edge of skin cancer treatment. Call the office at 408-329-6056 to schedule a consultation and assessment. Prompt treatment of skin cancer is the best way to beat it. Make your appointment now. 

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