Appropriately named after the doctor who invented this technique, Dr. Frederick Mohs, Mohs cancer surgery is now considered the gold standard for skin cancer treatment. It is a precise and effective treatment for most skin cancers with melanoma being an exception. Let’s analyze skin cancer Mohs surgery vs traditional excision.
How Mohs Surgery Is Different
Compared to traditional excision surgery for skin cancer, Mohs surgery confirms for Goodless Dermatology that all cancer cells are removed at the time of surgery. This increases the likelihood of a cure and reduces the need for additional treatments or another surgery.
Mohs surgery has a 99% cure rate for first time cancers, and a 94% cure rate for any recurrent cases.
This surgery is performed in stages and in only one visit. The surgeon removes a layer of tissue and immediately examines it under a microscope. If more cancer cells exist, Goodless Dermatology repeats the process until there are no more cancer cells. In addition, the surgeon examines 100% of the margins.
The patient waits while each layer is examined and it can take a while, but many patients think it is better than traditional excision, which is two times at the office and waiting for the biopsy in the interim.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery
If you have the option of Mohs surgery vs traditional excision, you may want to consider the following advantages of Mohs:
- There are lower recurrence rates when the Mohs technique is used.
- Mohs offers precise microscopic control of the entire tumor margins.
- Mohs maximizes healthy tissue conservation.
- It has the highest cure rate for non-melanoma skin cancers.
- It is more cost effective due to the higher cure rates and low recurrence rates.
- There is reduced scarring with a smaller incision, and it has a better cosmetic result.
Mohs surgery may not be best for seniors or frail patients due to the wait times between biopsies.