Dr. Ogrich is a Double Board-Certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Dermatologic Surgeon. She is fellowship-trained in Mohs Micrographic Surgery & Dermatologic Oncology. To Read Dr. Ogrich’s full bio, visit our website at ClearDermatology.net
Mohs surgery, named after its inventor Dr. Frederic Mohs, is a specialized surgical technique primarily used to treat skin cancer, especially basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It is known for its high precision and effectiveness in removing cancerous cells while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
The Mohs surgery procedure involves the following steps:
Tumor Removal: The surgeon first removes the visible portion of the tumor along with a thin layer of surrounding tissue. This layer is then divided into sections and carefully labeled.
Mapping and Microscopic Examination: Each section of removed tissue is frozen, sliced into thin layers (sections), stained, and examined under a microscope by the surgeon. This step helps determine if any cancerous cells remain at the surgical site.
Tissue Analysis: If cancer cells are still present in any of the sections, the surgeon precisely marks their location on a detailed map. This map guides the surgeon to the specific areas where further tissue removal is required.
Repeat Layers: The surgeon then goes back to the identified areas and removes another thin layer of tissue, focusing specifically on the locations with remaining cancer cells. Steps 2-4 are repeated until no cancer cells are visible under the microscope.
Closure: Once the surgeon confirms that all cancerous cells have been removed, the wound is treated. Depending on the size of the wound, it may be allowed to heal on its own, or sutures (stitches) or other closure techniques may be used.
One of the key advantages of Mohs surgery is its ability to achieve a high cure rate while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible, especially in areas where tissue conservation is crucial for functional and cosmetic reasons, such as the face. Mohs surgery is typically performed by dermatologists who have undergone specialized training in the technique.
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