Getting a skin cancer diagnosis can be traumatic. However, new treatments such as Mohs surgery are incredibly effective. Mohs surgery can be used to treat both basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas with up to 98% effectiveness. When you schedule Mohs surgery at our Dermatology Group of the Carolinas offices in Salisbury, Huntersville, or Concord, NC, you will receive expert care from a surgeon skilled in surgery and pathology.
Mohs Surgery in Concord & Charlotte, North Carolina
Mohs treatment is a surgical intervention that removes certain fast-growing cancerous skin lesions. It is commonly used to treat skin cancer on the face. The procedure combines tumor removal, tissue biopsy, and reconstructive surgery to ensure all cancerous cells are removed while minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Mohs surgery offers cancer patients an exceptional success rate compared to other treatment options. As a result, the procedure is the leading choice for treating certain types of cancer, including those that:
- Are located on sensitive areas of the face
- Are rapidly growing or in danger of spreading
- Have resisted other treatment methods
How Mohs Cancer Treatment Works
During Mohs surgery, your doctor carefully removes thin layers of skin one at a time. Once excised, each one is examined under a microscope to determine if it contains cancerous cells. Successive layers are removed until a cancer-free one is reached.
Some skin cancer lesions are shallow, allowing us to remove all cancer cells in only a few layers. Most lesions treated in our offices are completely removed in one or two layers. Others appear small at the surface but spread laterally in lower layers of skin. The Mohs process allows doctors to map the tumor, showing its margins at each layer. This increases its effectiveness by ensuring all cancer cells are removed.
One of the reasons so many patients and surgeons turn to Mohs when discussing surgery is its incredible effectiveness. It has been shown to be up to 98% effective at curing common types of skin cancer.
Our surgeons are exceptionally skilled at determining the pathology of each skin cancer lesion, which aids our success rate. An accurate assessment of each sample taken during surgery is necessary to remove the entire lesion and minimize damage to healthy tissue surrounding it.
The Surgery Process
Our doctors perform Mohs surgery on an outpatient basis. Patients receive a local anesthetic to ensure comfort during the procedure. This results in lower risks than those associated with other, more invasive types of surgery.
Skin from the lesion area is removed in thin sections. Each one is then prepared and examined for the presence of cancerous cells. The treatment area may be enlarged if they extend to the edges of the sample. This ensures that all cancerous cells are fully removed and reduces the chance your cancer will return after surgery.
Once the cancer is entirely removed, we perform minor reconstruction to minimize the effect on the patient’s appearance.
Recovery and Post-Treatment Care
Our surgeons will dress the wound and provide customized care instructions after your surgery. You will need to return for a follow-up visit to have any sutures removed and for us to ensure the incision is healing properly. Additionally, you will be responsible for proper skin care and monitoring after the surgery.
Because Mohs is commonly used on cancers of the face and neck, reconstruction is a crucial part of the procedure. Most patients can have reconstruction performed during their initial surgical appointment. However, others may need additional surgery to minimize the physical effects of their treatment. This usually includes skin grafts or the creation of a skin flap to cover the wound area.
Talk to our surgeons if you are concerned about how cancer removal will affect your appearance. We can review all available treatments and determine which will best eliminate your skin cancer with the least changes to your appearance. We can also discuss your reconstruction options, so you know what will most likely be required upfront.
Who Is This Right For?
Every cancer treatment is tailored to the individual patient receiving care. However, several guidelines are in place to help direct patients to the appropriate treatment. In the case of Mohs surgery, it is frequently used on basal and squamous cell carcinomas. It is also effective for melanomas and other fast-spreading, high-risk skin cancers.
It is especially effective at treating aggressive skin cancers and those that are large or in a sensitive area. For example, patients with lesions on the genitals, face, neck, fingers, or toes might choose Mohs to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
Additionally, it is an excellent treatment option for patients who are making a repeat attempt at treating a difficult-to-treat or recurring lesion. Finally, Mohs is a top choice for patients with compromised immune systems due to organ transplants, another type of cancer, or other causes.
Mohs is not suitable for every skin cancer patient. However, it could be a good choice for you if you have been diagnosed with one of the following:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Melanoma of the face or neck
- A compromised immune system
Compassionate Cancer Treatment
Our surgeons are highly skilled at performing Mohs surgery and other available skin cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation, curettage, and conventional excision. We will always treat our patients with respect, compassion, and dignity, regardless of what type of treatment they choose for their skin cancer.