The most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer. Mohs micrographic surgery (Mohs) is a highly specialized surgical technique that is named after Dr. Frederic Mohs who invented the technique in the 1930s. Mohs is the gold standard for the treatment of certain types of skin cancer in certain anatomic locations, such as high-risk skin cancers and those that occur in functionally and/or cosmetically sensitive areas.
The benefits of Mohs surgery include precision (allowing for examination of 100% of the tumor margin while sparing healthy tissue); high cure rate (up to 99% for primary tumors, up to 94% for recurrent tumors); and cost-effectiveness (one outpatient surgery that includes the cost of pathology and wound repair). Mohs surgery is performed under local anesthesia and leaves the smallest defect allowing for the best cosmetic outcome.
The following graphic gives a step-by-step explanation of the Mohs process:
Sarah Vieta, M.D. is a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon and a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS). Dermatologists who are fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery are set apart by completing one to two years of additional training post-residency. During the fellowship a minimum of 500 cases are performed and the training program must pass a rigorous application and review process. Physicians who are not members of the ACMS have not undergone the same selection and training process for this advanced, highly specialized technique.