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Skin Cancer

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

With the highest cure rates, lowest recurrence rates, and best cosmetic results, we’re proud to offer Mohs surgery at the Millburn Laser Center in Millburn, New Jersey, because it is considered the gold standard for certain types of skin cancers.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

This procedure was developed by Frederic E. Mohs, MD., in the 1930s. Then, during the 1970s, Perry Robins, MD. further studied, modified, and refined Mohs’ technique. Robins molded the procedure into what is now known as Mohs micrographic surgery. 

This revolutionary surgery treats skin cancer by gradually removing thin layers of skin from a cancer site until the patient is cancer-free. With in-office, same-day testing, Mohs surgery can quickly give patients peace of mind and minimal scarring compared to other types of treatment.

Types of Skin Cancer Mohs Surgery Can Remove

Mohs surgery is considered the most effective technique for treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which are the two most common types of skin cancer. The procedure may also be useful for rare and aggressive cancers, such as Melanoma. Specifically, Mohs surgery can treat:

  • Skin cancers in critical sites such as the scalp, forehead, eyelids, ears, nose, lips, fingers, or genital area
  • Skin cancers that are approximately one inch or larger, located in any area other than the face
  • Skin cancers with undefined borders
  • Skin cancers that have recurred after treatment
  • Skin cancers in areas containing scar tissue
  • Skin cancers in highly visible areas

How is Mohs Surgery Performed?

The procedure is performed by a Mohs surgeon in stages, all done in one visit: 

1

The skin around the cancer site is numbed with an injected anesthetic. You will be awake and alert during the surgery.

2

The surgeon will then remove a thin layer of tissue from the site while attempting to preserve as much normal and healthy skin as possible.

3

The tissue will be taken to the lab to be studied under a microscope while you wait.

4

If cancer is found during analysis, an additional layer of tissue will be removed from the same precise location.

5

This process will continue until no more cancer cells are detected.

Once done, your surgeon will decide on how to repair the area. If your surgical wound is small, it may be left alone to heal naturally. Otherwise, stitches may be necessary. In some cases, skin grafting or the construction of a skin flap will be used to minimize scarring and to help speed up the healing process. To learn more about Mohs Surgery, visit mohssurgery.org

Main Benefits of Mohs Surgery

Very Precise Procedure

Mohs surgery is a state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment in which the doctor serves as the surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. It takes advantage of the microscope’s ability to accurately trace malignant cells, allowing surgeons to remove skin cancer down to its roots. Those trained in Mohs surgery will be able to precisely identify and remove the skin cancer while leaving healthy tissue unharmed.

Minimizes Scarring

Because of the procedure’s precise technique, Mohs surgery will only require a small incision. This leaves less scarring while also reducing the amount of reconstructive surgery needed. The surgery will remove a minimal amount of skin – only taking what is needed to remove the skin cancer. 

Fast and Efficient

Because the surgeon is also able to take the role of pathologist, the entire procedure can be completed in just one day – as opposed to traditional surgeries where patients wait for several days before getting a pathology report. It is impossible to predict the exact timeframe of a Mohs surgery procedure, but it usually lasts for several hours.

Virtually Painless

Apart from the use of anesthetics to numb the area, patients will experience very little pain after the procedure, which is easily relieved by over-the-counter pain medications.

High Success Rate

Cure rates for BCC and SCC are up to 99% with Mohs surgery compared to standard excision or any other accepted method in skin cancer removal.

Mohs Recovery

After the procedure, the surgical site will be covered with a bandage to be worn for 24-48 hours. You will be instructed on when to remove the bandage and how to care for your wound. Ice packs are typically recommended, as well as prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection. You will feel tired after surgery. Take it easy for the next several days and avoid any strenuous activities. If stitches were used, the sutures will be removed a week or two after surgery. Full healing of the wound typically takes 4-6 weeks, while the scar will develop and heal over the next 6-12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are The Risks Of Mohs Surgery?

A: Risks associated with Mohs surgery include temporary pain, bleeding, and tenderness around the treated area. Although rare, more serious complications such as keloids, numbness, nerve damage, and infection can occur.

Q: Will It Leave A Scar?

A: Yes. Any skin cancer removal treatment will leave visible scarring. A scar post-Mohs surgery will depend on factors such as skin characteristics, size, location of the cancer site, and the reconstruction options available to the patient. Due to the tissue-sparing nature of the technique, scars produced after Mohs surgery will be smaller and less noticeable compared to other skin cancer removal methods. Also, keep in mind that most scars will naturally improve in appearance over time and scar revision procedures can be performed. 

Q: Who Should Perform Mohs Surgery?

A: Your Mohs surgeon should be fellowship-trained and certified by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS). It is an additional course of study that trains surgeons to become highly skilled in removing skin cancer tumors, analyzing cancerous tissue, reconstructing tissue, and minimizing scarring by a dermatologist who has received additional fellowship training with the ACMS.

Q: Can I Drive After Mohs Surgery?

A: We recommend you have someone drive you home if your skin cancer is located on your face. You will likely have a bulky pressure bandage applied after reconstruction which may obstruct your vision or prevent you from wearing your glasses. Your companion can stay with you in the office or pick you up when you are finished.

Learn More About Mohs Surgery!

The highly trained team of board-certified dermatologists at Millburn Laser Center in New Jersey are qualified to perform Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer. To schedule a consultation, contact us at (973) 376-8500 today. 

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Associates In Dermatology
Millburn Laser Center


12 East Willow Street

Millburn, NJ 07041

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