What is Mohs Surgery?

Named for Dr. Frederick Mohs, the doctor who devised it in the 1930s,Mohs micrographic surgery is now the leading cause of successful skin cancer removal. It is described among doctors as “elegant” and its uses are both simple and far-reaching. Simply, Mohs surgery eradicates cancerous tissue so completely that patients have a 98 percent cure rate.

Mohs surgery intends to isolate the last remaining cancer cell in the diseased area. This focus on thoroughness treats the cancer as having a root system, similar to a tree, a root system that filters through the various skin layers. Using this intricate technique, our expert in Mohs surgery in Tarzana is able to peel away cancerous skin layers one by one until the area is entirely free of disease.

Contrast this with standard excision, during which the doctor removes as much cancerous tissue as possible, along with a certain amount of bordering healthy tissue, in one large sweep. The negative of this method is its guesswork—the surgeon can remove only as much tissue as she can theorize is necessary.

Mohs surgery incorporates microscopic technology during the excision, allowing for its unprecedented vision into the status of the cancer.

To get the latest on Mohs micrographic surgery, contact our Tarzana dermatologists.