Mohs surgery has been used since the 1930s to treat the most common types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – and several other conditions. It is remarkably effective, requires only local anesthesia, and carefully avoids damaging healthy tissue. If you’re curious about undergoing Mohs surgery in Elgin or the wider Chicago area, contact us today to learn more.
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a process that removes certain types of skin tumors by removing thin layers and checking each with a microscope to determine how much more to remove. This both guarantees complete removal of the tumor and ensures that surrounding healthy tissue is not affected.
How Effective is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is most effective when used to treat basal cell carcinoma and nearly as effective with squamous cell carcinoma. It is typically only used to treat tumors on the face, neck, or scalp. The developer of the surgery, Frederic Mohs, published a large-scale study of the effectiveness in the late 1970s, reporting a five-year survival rate of 99% with basal cell carcinoma, 94.8% with squamous cell carcinoma, and about 96.6% for all cases in a sample of 4085. More recent clinical trials confirm that the procedure is indeed that effective against these tumors, if not more so. Much less research has been published on its effectiveness for treating melanoma, rarer skin cancers, or tumors not on the head or neck.
Am I a Candidate?
This type of surgery may be an ideal choice if you’ve been diagnosed with basal or squamous cell carcinoma on your face, ears, scalp, or neck. It could potentially be used to treat other skin cancers or conditions, but its efficacy is not as well established. However, Frederic Mohs indicated in his writings that the principle behind the procedure is versatile enough that skilled surgeons could apply it to new situations. Ultimately, our doctor will work with you to decide if the procedure is right for you.
What Can I Expect?
Mohs surgery takes a relatively long time to complete–up to several hours depending on the size of the tumor. Most patients receive local anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the entire procedure. The team performing the procedure usually consists of the surgeon, a histological technician trained in microscopically analyzing the samples, and often some assisting nurses.
Why Choose Dundee Dermatology?
Dundee Dermatology is one of the Chicago area’s premier practices for both medical and cosmetic dermatology. We offer treatment for skin cancer, psoriasis, and other serious dermatological conditions, as well as a wide variety of beauty procedures. Our experienced team works closely with clinical researchers to stay abreast of the most recent developments in dermatology, allowing us to treat complicated cases and guarantee the most comfortable experience possible. To learn more about Mohs surgery or our other services, contact us today.