Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How does Mohs surgery remove lesions?"
What is the procedure? What does it entail?
Mohs surgery is a type of surgery that is commonly used in the treatment of skin cancers including melanoma, squamous cell cancer of the skin and basal cell cancer of the skin. Mohs surgery is microscopically controlled surgery. It uses frozen section histology to obtain complete margin control in skin cancer resections. Mohs surgery can be performed in the office as an office-based procedure under local anesthesia or it can be performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Sometimes the resections can be quite extensive and they can be scheduled together with the plastic surgeon who will be performing the reconstruction. This would mean that it would be in the operating room. There are many physicians involved in the procedure including the surgeon who resects the cancer, the pathologist and the reconstructive surgeon. What makes Mohs surgery unique from other resections is the pathologist looks at the fresh tissue. It allows for complete examination of the margin of tissue and not just random sections as other pathology specimens are usually sent for examination. If you have skin cancer or other lesions that are concerning for skin cancer, it is important to discuss this with your physician. You may need a referral to a dermatologist or other doctor/surgeon who performs Mohs surgery.
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