Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer. It is an exacting procedure in which the dermatologist performs both surgical excision of the skin cancer and microscopic examination of the surgical margins to ensure that all skin cancer cells have been removed. The visible portion of the tumor is removed, then working outward from the affected area, a thin layer of skin is removed at a time. The tissue is immediately evaluated under a microscope to determine the extent of the cancer. Successive layers are removed only where necessary, until no tumor is present. This complete, systematic microscopic search for the "roots" of the skin cancer, offers a 97% - 99% chance for complete removal of cancer without an excessive loss of normal tissue. As a result, Mohs Micrographic Surgery is very useful for large tumors, tumors with indistinct borders, tumors near vital functional or cosmetically important areas, and tumors for which other forms of therapy have failed. However, no surgeon or technique can guarantee a 100% chance of cure.
You can find out more about Mohs micrographic surgery by visiting the American College of Mohs Surgery website. Just click on the ACMS box.