Mohs surgery requires a team of skilled professionals, a surgeon, histotechnician, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. Mohs specialists can practice one or more of these roles but their primary responsibility is that of the actual surgeon. The surgeon identifies and removes the skin cancer and prepares the specimen for the histology specialist to further process. The cosmetic reconstruction of the wound is most often also done by the Mohs surgeon.

Training

The American Society for Mohs Surgery and the American College of Mohs Surgery are the professional organizations that oversee this surgical specialty. The American College of Mohs Surgery has regulated the specialized physician training and fellowship program since the 1980's.

Mohs surgeons are, most commonly, trained dermatologists, plastic surgeons or otolaryngologists who, upon finishing their residency, go on to complete a 1 to 2 year accredited fellowship in the specialty. The fellowship training includes doing about 500 cases a year, both the surgical component and reconstruction.

Surgeons are not required to undergo formal Mohs training or become a member of one of these professional groups in order to present themselves as qualified to perform Mohs surgery. The best surgical outcomes are a direct result of formally skilled, highly-trained specialists. Be sure your surgery is performed by an appropriately qualified Mohs surgeon.

The physician performing the screening biopsy is the best resource to recommend a qualified Mohs surgeon. Ask the Moh specialist about his or her training and experience before committing to their care. 

Surgical outcome

It is important to ensure a strong team will deliver your care and provide a strong surgical outcome and cure rate. Ask the questions.