Mohs surgery is a procedure to treat superficial as well as more complex skin cancers found on the face, ears, backs of hands, or other sites that call for skin sparing surgery. It is indicated for the removal of skin lesions where it is important to preserve as much of the surrounding healthy tissue for functional and cosmetic purposes, and for skin cancers that have recurred, are large, contain scar tissue and whose borders are not clearly defined.
Mohs surgery is performed under local anesthesia. Your surgeon removes the visible tumor along with a thin layer of healthy tissue immediately surrounding the lesion. The tissue is then sliced and mapped to serve as a guide to the exact location of the tumor. The tissue is processed, stained and examined under the microscope by your surgeon. If any indication of cancer cells is found in the sample, your surgeon will remove and examine another tissue sample taken from the specific region that is indicated on the map. These steps are repeated until no cancer cells are detected under the microscope. This helps your surgeon remove all traces of cancer cells without undue removal of healthy tissue.
Following skin cancer removal, wounds are reconstructed to preserve function and aesthetic appearance. Some wounds may be allowed to heal on its own; others may require stitches, skin graft (skin from another location is removed and used to cover the defect) or a flap to close the wound.
Dr. Norton does not perform Mohs surgery. She refers to some of the best Mohs Surgeons and Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons in the area in order to provide the best medical and cosmetic outcomes to her patients,