Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a procedure used to treat skin cancer. It is considered the gold standard for treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) which are the most common forms of skin cancer. It successfully cures new cancers over 99 percent of the time and cures recurrent cancers about 95 percent of the time. Surgeons have recently begun using it to treat melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
What does Mohs surgery in Atlanta involve?
In Atlanta, Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by our specially trained surgeon. The surgeon examines the cancer to determine where the cancer begins and ends. If there are cancer cells in the margin, the surgeon will return to the patient to remove another layer of tissue and take that to the lab for analysis. The surgeon will repeat the process until they get tissue samples free of cancer cells. As can be guessed, Mohs surgery is a painstaking process that can take hours.
A big advantage of Mohs surgery is the peace of mind it gives the patient. In a conventional excision, the surgeon removes the visible part of the cancer, and then sends it to a pathology lab somewhere else. Both the surgeon and the patient then fret for a week or two while waiting for the lab report. A patient who undergoes Mohs surgery in Atlanta, by contrast, goes home knowing that their cancer has been dealt with. The extreme thoroughness of the procedure also means that the patient can rest assured that all of the cancer has been removed.
What happens after the procedure?
Depending on the amount of tissue removed, the surgeon will choose from any of several different methods to close the wound. If the wound is very small, for example, the surgeon may simply put a band-aid on it and let it heal by itself. If the wound is a bit bigger, the surgeon will stitch it closed. If the surgeon removed a lot of tissue, they may refer the patient to a plastic surgeon for reconstructive surgery. In that case, they will temporarily close the wound. The surgeon will also schedule follow-up appointments to both monitor the wound’s healing and check the patient for more skin cancer. Unfortunately, people who get skin cancer once are apt to develop it again.
At Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta, we are happy and proud to serve the community with all its skin cancer concerns. If you think you may be a candidate for Mohs surgery in Atlanta, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.