Mohs surgery, also known as chemosurgery, is aimed at treating and removing skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, while keeping healthy skin tissue intact.
Mohs micrographic surgery is an outpatient procedure that's performed by a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon or an ENT specialist. This is a highly specialized and precise procedure that involves the surgical removal of cancerous tissue and its examination under the microscope.
The skin is removed layer by layer until no trace of cancer is detected under the microscope. As the layers of skin are examined under the microscope while the surgery is ongoing, it is possible to remove all cancerous tissues at one time while keeping healthy tissue intact. Some of the health benefits of this surgery are mentioned below.
High Cure Rate
Since Mohs surgery can remove all the cancerous cells present, the success rate of this treatment is very high. For primary cancers, the rate is as high as 99 percent. For cancers that may recur, the success rate of Mohs surgery is 95 percent. This figure compares favorably with the success rate of other treatments where the highest cure rate achieved is 80 percent.
Mohs surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure with no need for general anesthesia. The surgical time for the removal of each cancerous layer is two minutes. However, the total time for each layer can vary from one to two hours, as the cells are examined under the microscope to ascertain whether they are cancerous or not.
Mohs surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that's performed under local anesthesia. It therefore has none of the risks that are generally associated with major surgeries.
Since the surgery is an outpatient procedure carried out under local anesthesia, it is cost effective when compared to other treatments.
The precise nature of Mohs surgery ensures that all the cancerous tissue is removed. This is essential in rapidly growing cancers that are likely to recur.
Complete Elimination of Cancerous Tissue
Mohs surgery gives the specialist the scope to keep on removing successive layers of the skin until all cancerous tissue is removed.
Treatment of Skin Cancers of Sensitive Areas
Mohs surgery is the treatment of choice for skin cancers in sensitive areas such as the head, neck, nose, lips, ears, eyelids, hands, feet and genitals.
Preservation of Healthy Tissue
Mohs surgery is minimally invasive. Only tissue that is cancerous is removed. All healthy tissue is left intact. Hence, scarring is minimal and easily rectified. This is very important in areas of cosmetic importance such as the face and the neck. Mohs surgery is a boon to patients with skin cancer of the facial areas because it leaves behind no disfiguring scars or gaping wounds. Since most of the healthy tissue is preserved, there is minimal restoration to be carried out in order to keep the patient's looks intact and preserve their self esteem and confidence.
Mohs surgery is the preferred option for many specialists for the treatment of several types of skin cancer.