Mohs surgery is a special type of excision surgery that serves to completely remove skin cancer. The main difference between Mohs surgery and conventional excision surgery is that Moh’s involves immediate microscopic examination of the skin specimen and if cancer cells are still present, more skin is removed. The process is repeated until the skin specimen does not contain any skin cancer.
As Mohs surgery reveals to the surgeon where the skin cancer cells are still present, further skin excision can be precisely performed thereby preserving normal skin. Once the skin cancer has been fully removed, Mr Karri will reconstruct the wound with the most appropriate plastic surgery technique.
Mohs surgery is currently one of the most precise and effective surgical techniques to remove skin cancer. The technique combines a very high cure rate with good preservation of normal skin.
Mohs surgery can be used for skin cancer on any part of the body but is predominantly used for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on the head and neck. It is particularly indicated for skin cancer around the eyes, nose, lips and recurrent skin cancers.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery
Mohs Surgery is considered to be the highest standard when it comes to dealing with skin cancer. The main advantages of Mohs surgery include, a very low risk of the skin cancer recurring, maximum preservation of healthy skin, the skin cancer can be usually be treated with a single session and Mohs can be performed under local anaesthetic.
The area to be treated is first injected with local anaesthetic, which renders the area numb. After the local anaesthetic starts working patients do not feel pain and remain awake throughout the procedure.
Mr Karri will surgically excise the skin cancer with a narrow margin of normal skin. He will then excise a further layer of tissue from the wound bed, which is sectioned and colour-coded for orientation.
The tumor sections are then placed on a slide and analyzed under a microscope.
If skin cancer is found in a particular section Mr Karri will remove more tissue from the corresponding wound bed. This process is repeated until all the wound bed sections are clear of the cancer. As Mohs sugery is a ‘tissue-sparing’ technique, the defect is kept to a minimum.
Once finished Mr Karri will discuss with you the options for reconstruction. Depending on the size and complexity of the defect, reconstruction may be performed the same day.