Mohs micrographic surgery is the most effective and advanced treatment available for high risk skin cancer. This surgical technique has provided optimal cure rates and cosmetic outcomes for common skin cancers, such as basal and squamous cell carcinomas, even if the skin cancer has been previously treated by another method.
Mohs surgery is performed by removing the area of skin containing cancer cells layer-by-layer. Visible, raised areas of the tumor are removed first, followed by thin, circular layers of tissues from the involved site. Each removed area of tissue is marked to identify bottom and side sections, and then carefully examined under a microscope immediately in the adjourning lab by the Mohs surgeon. If the skin cancer is seen at any of the peripheral or deep margins under the microscope its location is identified per the marked sections and an additional thin layer of tissue is removed only from the identified section where cancer remains. The process is then repeated until there are no more cancer cells at any of the margins.
Because only diseased tissue from a specific area is removed in a layer-by-layer process, this technique spares the maximum amount of normal skin possible, which optimizes the cosmetic and functional outcome. Additionally, the unique microscopic examination of 100% of the edges of removed tissue helps to trace the skin cancer down to its roots and allow for the complete removal of skin cancer.
Why Choose Us
Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Dermatology is a leader in Mohs micrographic surgery, and offers patients access to a team of experts that specialize in skin cancer diagnosis, Mohs surgery, and reconstructive options. Our fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons perform more than 2,600 Mohs procedures each year. Cleveland Clinic Mohs services continue to grow throughout Cleveland Clinic Family Health and Surgery Centers to provide patients more timely treatment of skin cancer in convenient outpatient settings.
To make an appointment with a Cleveland Clinic Mohs surgeon, please call 216.444.3365.
For complex skin cancer treatment or removal, such as those requiring Plastic Surgery options, visit our Melanoma Clinic.