Being diagnosed with skin cancer can be a startling experience, but don’t worry—you’re certainly not alone. More than 3 million cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are treated in the U.S. each year, and the vast majority of skin cancers are curable. Mohs surgery is considered one of the best, most effective ways to treat common forms of skin cancer.
When detected and treated early, you can remove cancerous cells and return to regular life as soon as possible. If you have been recently diagnosed with skin cancer and are considering Mohs surgery in Houston, here is what you need to know.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is an innovative skin cancer treatment that removes cancerous cells and a very thin layer of skin tissue. The layer of removed skin is then frozen and microscopically examined for cancer cells. If more cancer cells are found, an additional layer of tissue is removed and microscopically examined. The process continues, layer by layer, until no traces of the cancerous cells are left.
Mohs surgery is performed under local anesthetic as an outpatient procedure. It is effective for skin cancers that are recurrent, difficult to treat, or located in sensitive, thin-skinned areas such as the ears, nose, lips, and scalp.
What Happens During the Procedure?
Mohs surgery is performed in stages all in one visit. Here is what you can expect during your skin cancer treatment.
Step 1: Cleansing & Numbing
You can relax in a comfortable reclined seat during the course of your treatment. Your doctor will begin by examining your skin and marking the targeted treatment area. They will then numb the area with an injectable anesthetic to reduce any discomfort.
Step 2: Tissue Removal
The surgeon will use a scalpel to remove a thin layer of tissue from the tumor. This sample is then taken to the lab to be analyzed, and you can relax as your lab analysis takes place.
Step 3: Lab Analysis
Inside our lab, the tissue is processed and carefully analyzed under a series of microscopic slides. Your doctor will examine the edges of the tissue to determine whether the cancerous cells are in a wider area and if more tissue removal is necessary.
Step 4: Additional Tissue Removal
If the lab analysis determines that there are more cancerous cells within the skin, your surgical team will continue the tissue removal process. The tumor will be carefully removed layer by layer until all of the cells are removed. Most treatment sessions are completed in 2 to 3 surgical stages.
Step 5: Reconstruction
In most cases, your doctor will stitch up your wound immediately following your procedure. You will be sent home with detailed instructions on how to best care for your wound over the next 1 to 2 weeks.
What Are the Advantages of Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is one of the most trusted and effective methods of providing medical treatment for skin cancer. Some of the advantages include:
- Efficient & Cost-Effective: The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and typically requires only a single visit. This reduces the cost when compared to other treatments that may require multiple procedures.
- Precise Results: Your doctor will carefully examine your skin and precisely target the cancerous cells. This delicate approach spares healthy tissue while leaving the smallest possible scar. Same-day wound repair and reconstruction are also available in most cases.
- Highest Cure Rate: Mohs surgery can cure up to 99% of skin cancers that have not been treated before, and up to 95% of skin cancer that has recurred after previous treatment.
Why Should You Pick DermSurgery Associates for Mohs Surgery?
When it comes to treating and protecting your skin, you deserve nothing but the best. Our practice is led by world-renowned Mohs surgeon, Leonard H. Goldberg, M.D., who has specialized in this procedure for over 20 years. We also offer a staff of fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons who provide advanced expertise in Mohs surgery and other skincare medical procedures.
Our surgeons provide warm, compassionate care and guidance throughout your Mohs surgery process. When you choose DermSurgery Associates for your procedure, you can rest easy and know you’re in good hands.
While receiving a skin cancer diagnosis is never an easy experience, Mohs surgery offers a safe, effective way to restore the health of your skin. If you are looking for a Mohs surgeon in the Greater Houston area and would like to learn more about treatment, please request a consultation online or call (713) 791-9966.