Treating Skin Cancer
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
For many skin cancer patients, Mohs microscopic surgery is the best treatment option. It offers:
- a high cure rate
- smaller, more precise excisions
- less scarring
- same day outpatient care
The Skin Cancer Center specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery and is one of the leading health care providers in the area to offer it because of several distinctions.
- All procedures are performed by medical director Marcy Neuburg, MD, a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon and board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience.
- The procedure is performed in specially designed procedure rooms with an attached laboratory, providing the most convenient, comfortable and timely care possible.
- Specially trained laboratory and surgical technicians are there to provide fast and accurate results and assist with the process.
See our list of questions you should consider when selecting a physician to perform Mohs micrographic surgery.
High Cure Rate – Up to 99 PercentThe biggest advantage of Mohs surgery is its high cure rate (97 percent to 99 percent) for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer. This is the highest success rate of all available forms of skin cancer treatment.
About the Mohs Surgery ProcedureThe Mohs surgery technique lets physicians remove just the skin tissue affected by the skin cancer while preserving as much of the healthy surrounding tissue as possible.
Mohs microscopic surgery is performed in special outpatient procedure rooms in the Skin Cancer Center, located within the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center. The surgery is done using local anesthesia, similar to that used for a skin biopsy or minor dental work. Soothing décor and an audio system in the procedure rooms provide a comfortable environment for patients. Patients may even bring their own CDs and handheld devices to occupy them during the procedure.
During the Mohs procedure, the surgeon uses a scalpel to remove thin layers of tissue from the cancerous area. Next, while the patient waits, the excised skin is processed in the adjacent laboratory and examined under a microscope by the surgeon. If any cancer cells are seen, the location is noted on a “map.” This map is used by the surgeon as a guide for removing a second layer of tissue. The tissue removal and mapping process is repeated until the tissue layers are cancer-free. For their safety and comfort, patients stay in the procedure room — a sterile environment that reduces the chances of infection — until the entire process is complete.
After the skin cancer has been completely removed, a decision is made about how to best treat the wound so the patient regains maximum functionality and appearance. Common options include allowing the area to heal on its own, or further surgery.
Smaller Excisions, Less ScarringBecause the Mohs procedure removes only as much tissue as is necessary to fully eliminate the cancer, the surgery site is smaller than if other procedures were used. This is important for patients with large skin cancers, especially those on the face. It is also well suited for treating skin cancers in difficult spots like the eyelid, lip, ear or nose.
Advanced TrainingMarcy Neuburg, MD, has received advanced fellowship training in Mohs micrographic surgery and has performed more than 20,000 Mohs procedures. She is actively involved in teaching residents and medical students and conducting research.
Author: Kathy Allen
Date: April 2012
|Medical Reviewer: ||Marcy Neuburg, MD||