At our Manhattan and Long Island dermatology practice, we perform mohs surgery to diagnose and treat different forms of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and over one million Americans will receive treatment this year. As a result, various techniques are continually developed, but Mohs surgery continues to be the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery uses highly specialized techniques to remove skin cancer in stages one tissue layer at a time. This technique is chosen both for its effectiveness and its versatility because it can be used to treat most types of skin cancer.
Because Mohs surgery can efficiently remove large amounts of cancerous material without causing significant damage to surrounding tissues, it’s often recommended for delicate regions of the body such as the eyes, ears, nose, hairline and hands. Because of its high success rate, Mohs surgery is also recommended for those with recurrent skin cancer.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sarnoff or Dr. Weinstein to find out if you’re a good candidate for Mohs surgery. Please come prepared to discuss important factors such as your medical history and goals for treatment.
Mohs surgery involves the removal of skin cancer in stages, a process that can last up to four hours. During the first stage of your Mohs procedure, we use a scalpel to carefully remove the visible tumor. You may feel some pressure while the tumor is being removed, but you will be given a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort.
Once the tumor is removed, the resulting wound will be covered with a sterile bandage and you will escorted to a waiting area. While you’re waiting, we send a tissue sample to a laboratory for examination. Following an examination of the tissue, we can determine if any remaining cancerous material remains beneath the surface of your skin. This process is repeated layer by layer, until only healthy tissue remains.
After surgery, we will determine the best options for repairing the wound. In some cases, it will be left to heal on its own or directly closed with sutures. Larger wounds may require reconstructive procedures such as flap techniques, tissue expansion or skin grafts to normalize the appearance of your skin. More than one procedure may be necessary to provide an optimal cosmetic outcome.
Though Mohs surgery has a very high success rate, it is critical that you practice safe skin care after the surgery. After having one skin cancer, you have an estimated 50 percent chance of developing skin cancer again. Remember to use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) daily, avoid prolonged sun exposure and have your skin checked regularly for signs of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery, like all surgical procedures, has risks. We will discuss these with you in advance of your procedure. Some minor complications may include redness, itchiness or discomfort around your wound. Swelling and bruising are also very common following Mohs surgery. These side effects usually subside within 4-5 days of surgery. More serious complications may include undesirable scarring, infection and permanent changes in sensation.
"Dr. Sarnoff's expertise in Mohs surgery gave me confidence to have my skin cancer treated at Cosmetique."