Mohs Surgery

Precision Skin Cancer Removal for the Little Rock Area, Central Arkansas, and Beyond

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How Does Mohs Surgery Work?

If you’re researching skin cancer treatments, it makes sense to learn as much as you can about Mohs surgery so you can determine whether it’s the right option for you. Simply put, Mohs surgery involves removing tissue layer by layer until no cancerous cells are detected. The procedure is done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits.

The University of Wisconsin’s Dr. Frederick Mohs developed Mohs surgery in the 1930s, creating a procedure that involves several specific steps for removing cancer cells without harming the healthy, surrounding tissue.

First, the provider marks the outline of the visible part of the cancer on the surface of the skin.

Next, the area to be treated is numbed with a local anesthetic, administered with a needle.

Once the area is numb, the provider begins the most painstaking aspect of Mohs surgery: removing the cancer in a methodical way. First, the visible cancer and an extra layer of skin are taken from the treatment area, after which the patient is bandaged and encouraged to rest comfortably. While the patient waits, the surgeon takes this layer of skin to the laboratory and processes it into slides for viewing under a microscope. Processing involves cutting the tissue into sections and staining them.

Next, the surgeon checks all of the edges of the skin sample, including the bottom, for signs of cancer cells. Results are marked on a “Mohs map” of the tissue section. If cancer cells are present, another sample is taken—but only from the areas where the cells were found. Thanks to the lab work, the surgeon knows the exact area where the cancer cells were found.

This process is unique to Mohs surgery and allows the surgeon to “follow” the Mohs map to find cancer in the skin and be sure all traces of it are being cut out without waiting for results to come back from an external lab.

The Mohs surgery continues in this way, repeating the back-to-back excision and examination process, until there are no longer signs of cancer cells in any of a sample’s margins or at its base. Seeing what are known as “clear margins,” a surgeon can be confident that all of a cancer’s extensions or “roots” have been removed.

Lastly, plans are made to repair the wound made by the Mohs surgery. The vast majority of these repairs are handled in our office, where we perform linear closures, grafts, flaps, and more. Our primary goal is to remove the cancer for the benefit of your long-term health, but we also know that minimizing visible scarring is important to our Mohs surgery patients’ self esteem.

Since every patient’s cancer develops in a unique way, there is no standard length of time to expect for Mohs surgery. The Mohs surgery process tends to move relatively quickly, but we encourage patients to set aside a day for the procedure, just in case.

Discover the incredibly efficient and effective steps involved in Mohs surgery at the Little Rock area’s Dermatology Group of Arkansas.
Mohs surgery at the Little Rock area’s Dermatology Group of Arkansas involves several steps, including precise excision of the tumor, preparation of samples, intense scrutiny of samples for signs of remaining cancer cells, and new excisions in necessary areas. Microscopic examinations and excisions continue until there are no signs of skin cancer, after which repair and reconstruction will be discussed.

What Sets Mohs Surgery Apart from Other Cancer Treatments?

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How Can You Prepare for Mohs Surgery?

Who Is a Candidate for Mohs Surgery?

How Is Skin Repaired After Mohs Surgery?

What Are the Results and Recovery Like from Mohs Surgery?

What Other Cancer-Related Services Are Available for the Little Rock Area?

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