Mohs Micrographic Surgery is one of the methods used to remove a variety of skin tumors. It is different from other procedures used to treat skin cancers because of the meticulous checking of 100% of the surgical margins to assure that the entire tumore has been eliminated. Although MMS is a time-consuming and compleax precedure, it provides the best chance for curing the cancer and also results in the smallest amount of tissue being removed. Therefore, MMS is typically used for aggressive tumors, tumors in areas of functional/cosmetic concern, or those cancers which have not responded to other treatment methods.
The surgery is performed with local anesthesia in the office surgical suite. One of our surgical nurses will review your medical history and discussimportant points about your specific skin cancer, the MMS procedure. The site of the tumore is then cleaned, marked, and numbed. A thin layer of tissue is removed. A dressing will be placed and you will be excorted back to the waiting room. While there, you may relax, eat, drink, viist with family/friends. Your surgeon will draw a map to correspond exactly to the wound which has been made. The tissue which was removed is imediately taken to the lab, where it is cut into sections, placed on slides, stained, and returned to the surgeon for interpretation. Your surgeon will then view the slides under the microscope, determine if cancer is still present, and illustrate the site and amount f the the remaining cancer on the map. This process requires 30-90 minutes. If any remaining tumore is noted, you will return to the operating room, where additional tissue will be removed only where the cancer persists. This tissue is again mapped, prepared, and interpreted. This process continues until the entire tumor has been removed. Although all patients hope to be cleared of tumor with a single stage, the average number of stages for a given tumor is two or three. Once the entire tumore has been removed, MMS has concluded, and the process of reconstruction begins. Following reconstructive procedure, you will be gien explicit written and verbal instructions regardinf activity restrictions, wound care, medication usage, and what to expect during the postoperative period. For more information on Mohs Surgey visit www.mohssurgery.org