Board-Certified Mohs Surgery in Westerville at the Center for Surgical Dermatology
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is a highly specialized surgical procedure used to treat and remove common types of skin cancer.
It differs from other forms of skin cancer treatments by strategically using detailed mapping techniques and conducting a complete microscopic examination of all removed tissues. This allows the Mohs surgeon to exclusively target and eliminate all cancer cells and roots, while preserving the surrounding healthy skin to minimize scarring and optimize healing potential.
The Mohs procedure is performed by specially trained surgeons who have completed one additional year of training known as a fellowship. This is in addition to their one year internship then three years of dermatology residency.
A Mohs surgeon is specially trained in surgery, pathology, and reconstruction.
Mohs Surgery FAQs
Are you interested in learning more about Mohs surgery and how it treats skin cancer? Our dermatologists answer frequently asked questions relating to this specialized skin cancer treatment.
Mohs surgery was founded and developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in 1938.
Mohs surgery is most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). It is often recommended for skin cancers that are aggressive, show an invasive pattern microscopically, or are located in cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the face or scalp.
Additionally, Mohs surgery is sometimes recommended for melanoma, but typically only if it’s caught early and hasn’t spread into deeper tissue.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means it is performed in our comfortable, state-of-the-art clinic in Westerville, Ohio, rather than a hospital.
During the procedure, the surgeon will take a tissue sample of each skin layer and examine it under a microscope. At this time, you’ll wait in our comfortable office until the surgeon is done microscopically examining the tissue for remaining cancer cells.
Mohs surgery can technically be performed on any part of the body where skin cancer is present. However, Mohs surgery is often reserved for the treatment of skin cancer on sensitive areas of the body where skin preservation is essential, such as the face, neck, hands, feet, or genitals.
Additionally, Mohs surgery is recommended for skin cancers that have more aggressive microscopic features, regardless of where those skin cancers are located.
Mohs surgery uses local anesthesia or a numbing agent to numb the area being treated, which minimizes any pain. At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, our board-certified surgeons are exceptionally skilled in injection techniques to help make this part of your procedure as comfortable as possible.
Yes, Mohs surgery, as well as all other surgeries, leaves a scar. The size and shape of the scar depends on the size and location of the area being treated. However, one of the top benefits of Mohs surgery is that it preserves as much healthy skin as possible, which minimizes scarring.
Additionally, our surgeons are specifically trained in the same techniques used in plastic surgery to minimize the appearance of scars and essentially make them as unnoticeable as possible.
No, Mohs surgery does not require general anesthesia. Instead, your Mohs surgeon will use local anesthesia or a numbing agent to numb the area being treated.
Mohs surgery is generally covered by most insurances. However, we recommend consulting with your insurance provider to make sure this skin cancer treatment is covered under your unique plan.
By using detailed mapping techniques, the Mohs surgeon can pinpoint areas that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, even the smallest root to the cancer can be removed. The result is #1 removal of as little as normal skin as possible and #2 the highest possibility of curing the cancer even when other methods of treatment have failed.
The Mohs technique is the treatment of choice for many cancers of the face and other critical body areas.
Our staff will escort you into the surgical suite where medical questions will be asked along with review of medications and a check of your blood pressure. The doctor will then numb, with a local anesthetic, the area around the skin cancer. We use a far less painful local anesthetic than most other physicians. While the injection may be uncomfortable, our patients routinely tell us that it hurt far less than injections they have received elsewhere.
Once numb, the visible cancer along with a thin layer of normal appearing tissue will be removed. This tissue is carefully mapped by the surgeon and taken to the lab to be processed. A temporary bandage is placed over the wound and you return to the reception area.
The surgical procedure alone takes only 10-15 minutes. However, it takes on the average 45-60 minutes to prepare and examine the tissues of each layer. Large skin cancers may take significantly longer. Although, there is no way to tell how many layers will be necessary to remove the entire cancer, most are removed in 3 layers or less.
Since we do not know in advance how much time is necessary to remove the skin cancer and repair the wound, we ask that you plan for the possibility of being in the office the entire day. Please do not make other commitments. Most patients are here, however, 3-4 hours.
Verbal instructions for wound care will be covered in detail after surgery. We will also provide a written set of instructions with contact numbers should you have additional questions.
When you leave, there will be a big bulky dressing over your surgical site, which needs to stay in place for the next 24 hours.
Many patients choose to remain home the day after surgery. In general, this is a good idea. The doctor will tell you if any additional time off is needed. We are happy to provide a work excuse if necessary.
Please avoid strenuous activity for 1 week after surgery unless otherwise instructed. Activities that increase your heart rate and blood pressure (exercising, sports, lifting heavy objects, yard work) increase your chance of developing post-op complications including bleeding and infection.
Flying on an airplane can complicate your recovery and we request at least 48 hours after surgery before airplane travel.
Bruising and swelling vary considerably among patients. Assume that you will be bruised and/or swollen for a week or even longer. The site of your surgery and your activity level contributes to the amount of bruising and/or swelling you may have.
Photos of Mohs Surgery
Treat Skin Cancer with Mohs Surgery in Westerville, OH
The board-certified dermatologists at the Center for Surgical Dermatology are highly specialized in performing Mohs surgery to address and treat skin cancer. If you are interested in learning more about this skin cancer treatment, reach out to our state-of-the-art clinic in Westerville, OH, today.
Schedule your skin cancer treatment in Westerville, Ohio, by requesting an appointment online or by calling our clinic at (614) 847-4100.