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What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

Find out about this truly effective approach to treating certain types of skin cancer.mohs surgery

It is reported that as many as 3 million people in the US are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer each year. Whether you’ve just recently been diagnosed with skin cancer or you are weighing your treatment options, our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists, Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Margaret Hobson Dupree, are offering an amazing way to target and eliminate your skin cancer.

What is Mohs surgery?

Named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, the doctor who discovered this technique, this precise procedure is used to treat certain forms of skin cancer by only removing one layer of skin at a time. By doing so, we can preserve as much of the healthy skin as possible while also making sure that we completely remove all cancerous tissue.

What does the procedure entail?

This treatment is performed right here in our office by one of our Encinitas, CA, skin doctors. This is a fairly simple, outpatient procedure (which means that you can go home immediately following your surgery). Mohs surgery is performed under local anesthesia so you won’t experience any discomfort throughout your procedure.

We will remove the first layer of skin and then place the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells. We will continue to remove skin layer by layer, checking each layer under a microscope until there are no more cancer cells present. Once the cancer has been removed, we will stitch the area back up or allow the area to heal on its own, depending on the extent of your surgery.

How long will it take?

Since each layer of tissue we remove must also be studied under a microscope this procedure can take some time. Fortunately, modern-day techniques have made the process a bit quicker. Of course, you can expect the surgery to last several hours.

What is the recovery time like?

Recovery from Mohs surgery can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how much tissue is removed. Before you leave, we will give you instructions on how to care for your skin and when to come back for your follow-up.

Who is a good candidate for Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is often a recommended treatment for removing non-melanoma skin cancer. Mohs surgery is most effective for cancer that is rapidly growing, more likely to come back or is in more delicate regions like the eyes, nose or ears, which require as much skin preservation as possible. Mohs surgery is a good treatment option for someone who has squamous cell carcinomas, as this type of cancer can continue to spread to other regions if left untreated.

Do you have questions about Mohs surgery? Want to know whether it’s the right way to treat your skin cancer? If so, then it’s time you called North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas, CA, to schedule your consultation.

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