Mohs Surgery Questions to Ask
Receiving a cancer diagnosis of any kind can be overwhelming. The Skin Cancer Center encourages all patients to explore their options and talk with potential providers about their experience to help ensure you are making the best choices at this important time. If you have other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us: 414-805-0505 or 866-680-0505.
The Skin Cancer Center specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery. The Mohs procedure offers the highest cure rates (97 percent to 99 percent) of all available forms of skin cancer treatment. Mohs surgery is best performed by fellowship trained dermatologists with a laboratory nearby. When considering Mohs treatments, here are some questions potential patients may want ask the physician.
- Are you fellowship trained in Mohs surgery? (Fellowship training provides a higher degree of expertise when performing Mohs surgery.)
- How long have you been performing Mohs' surgery? (The more experience, the better.)
- How many Mohs procedures have you personally performed?
- What percentage of your practice is dedicated to Mohs Surgery? (The more specialized, the better. Greater than 90 percent of patients treated through the Skin Cancer Center are treated with Mohs.)
- What are your cure rates for this type of cancer with Mohs surgery? (Nationally, and within our Skin Cancer Center, cure rates are 97 percent to 99 percent.)
- Have you published papers about the Mohs procedure or taught others to do it? (Yes, Medical College of Wisconsin physicians at the Skin Cancer Center have conducted multiple research studies that have been subject of published papers. All physician team members of the Skin Cancer Center are affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin.)
- Where will the procedure be performed? Do you have a dedicated procedure room with attached skin cancer pathology laboratory? (Performing Mohs in a specially designed procedure room with attached laboratory is best practice for Mohs surgery and provides the most comfortable experience for patients.)
- What kind of training do the laboratory and surgical technicians who assist you with the procedure have? (Special training is preferable. Skin Cancer Center staff are longstanding members of the team and are active members of Mohs professional societies to keep skills as current as possible.)
- Will you use the fresh-tissue or fixed-tissue technique? (Both procedures are valid in the right circumstances. Fresh-tissue techniques are most associated with the Mohs procedure.)
- What will you do if you don't find the border of the cancerous lesion? (The Mohs procedure is not complete until all cancer is completely removed. However, in a few instances, follow-up treatment is necessary.)
- How will the wound be repaired? Will I need a plastic surgeon to repair the wound? Within the Skin Cancer Center, Marcy Neuburg, MD, has expertise in the Mohs procedure and in reconstructive surgery, so the majority of wounds are repaired during the cancer removal session. For more complicated repairs, an ocuplastic surgeon or other plastic surgeon with expertise in a particular area may perform the repair immediately following the procedure or at another time that is appropriate for you. The goal is cure of the cancer with the best cosmetic outcome.