In recent decades, the traditional way of surgically removing skin cancer has given way to a one-stop process involving removal of the cancerous growth, the checking for completeness of removal, and the cosmetic repair of the skin, all in real time.
This process is called Mohs Surgery. It is performed by board-certified dermatologists who’ve been specially trained in complex surgical techniques and in skin pathology.
Here’s how it works: After local anesthesia is administered underneath the skin cancer, the Mohs surgeon carefully removes the growth, taking only a minimum amount of tissue. The tissue is then precisely oriented and mapped, and every single point on the outside and deep borders are then processed and checked under a microscope to see if all roots are removed. If one section still contains a morsel of cancerous tissue, this precise area is then removed and rechecked. Once all margins are thoroughly checked and found to be clear, the surgical wound, which is as small as possible due to the precision of the Mohs process, is closed with plastic surgery techniques for the most inconspicuous result.
Fortunately, our area now has the availability of an expert Mohs surgeon in Dr. Brianna McDaniel, so travel to distant locations is a thing of the past for this state-of-the-art technique. If you have a skin spot that is concerning, seek a board-certified skin specialist for an expert evaluation.