Mohs surgery treats many types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and rare skin cancers. It is not typically used to treat melanoma. Occasionally, a cancer has spread deeply and must be removed by traditional forms of surgery. 

For many skin cancer patients, Mohs micrographic surgery is the best treatment option. It offers:

  • A high cure rate — up to a 99% success rate for most common skin cancers
  • Precise excision that spares healthy skin
  • Ideal cosmetic outcomes with less scarring
  • Same day outpatient care

Leaders in Mohs Micrographic Surgery

The Mohs Surgery Clinic specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery and is one of the leading health care clinics in the area to offer it because of several distinctions.

  • All procedures are performed by fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons and board-certified dermatologists 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 assist with the process and provide the most efficient, patient-centered care.

See our list of questions you should consider when selecting a physician to perform Mohs micrographic surgery.

High Cure Rate – Up to 99%

The biggest advantage of Mohs surgery is its high cure rate (97 – 99%) 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 Procedure

The 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 Mohs Surgery Clinic, located at the Froedtert Bluemound Clinics.

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 handheld devices to occupy them during the wait time associated with the laboratory processing of the removed cancer.

During the Mohs procedure, the surgeon uses a scalpel to remove precise, thin layers of tissue from the cancerous area. Next, while the patient waits, the excised skin is processed in the adjacent laboratory and then examined under a microscope by the Mohs 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 private, sterile environment that reduces the chances of infection — until the entire process is complete. This process can take up to four hours, depending on the extent of cancer.

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 various reconstructive techniques with suture placement.

Smaller Excisions, Less Scarring

Because 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 locations like the eyelid, lip, ear or nose.

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 get a second opinion. 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 at 414-805-0505 or 866-680-0505.

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.

Virtual Visits Are Available

Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.