Mohs skin cancer surgery is performed by trained surgeons and dermatologists. This is essential when saving every millimeter of your skin makes a difference.
Mohs surgery is named after Dr. Mohs who started this skin saving, as well as life saving procedure.
When cancer or a malignant tumor grows on the skin especially in sensitive areas such as the face, then the surgeon and/or dermatologist will do the best in order to save as much of your skin as possible.
Of course the old conventional methods of skin surgery might not be sufficient, no matter how experienced your doctor is.
After your doctor gets special training for Mohs skin cancer surgery, only then he is ready to perform it and save your skin.
So be sure to ask, before you have any tumor removed from your skin. This is not only for aesthetic purposes, but also for a much better cure rate even though results vary.
This is also called mohs micrographic surgery, since the diseased skin is cut away one layer at a time very carefully.
Then, the specimen is placed under a microscope and checked by a pathologist. The last excised layer will be when the pathologist sees no further evidence of cancer cells in the specimen.
AT the end, a narrower margin of skin is cut away since the pathologist already got the last piece of the malignant tumor.
Some doctors use Zinc Chloride paste a few days before surgery. This paste basically freezes the tumor and starts to peel away from the skin in a few days.
What's the benefit you ask?
According to doctors who use this technique, the paste preserves the histology of the tumor where the Pathologist can then dissect it under microscope.
It also leads to much less bleeding since most of the tumor has already separated from the skin. Therefore the whole operation can be done in the doctor's office using local anesthesia.
Some doctors leave the surgery site open and let it heal and fill up on its own. This is beneficial to you, because in case the tumor re-occurs it will not get hidden or trapped under the sutures.
The site fills up okay by fresh cells, there just won't be any skin. The site will look red and eventually will fade away to light pink. Of course results may vary.
Mohs skin cancer surgery is recommended by your doctor whenever possible in order to save more of your natural skin.