Mohs Micrographic Surgery Is A Highly Specialized Technique Used For The Total Removal Of Skin Cancer
It is named in honor of the physician who developed the technique, Dr. Frederic Mohs. Although developed in the early 1940s, Mohs surgery did not come of age until the late 1970s when technical improvements and refinements made it a safe and highly effective means of treating skin cancers including basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and occasionally melanomas.
Mohs surgery differs from standard excision in that the physician functions as a surgeon and pathologist performing microscopic control utilizing multiple thin layers of tissue processed along a grid pattern and carefully mapped. The location of all tumor roots can be pinpointed with accuracy and removed with an exceedingly high degree of precision so that all cancerous tissue has been eradicated. Mohs micrographic surgery is now universally recognized as the most efficient and cost-effective method for treating skin cancers.
Mohs micrographic surgery is especially effective in removing cancers of the face, hands, feet, and other cosmetically sensitive areas because it can eliminate virtually all of the cancerous tissue while causing minimal damage to the surrounding normal skin. It is also ideal for removing recurrent tumors, residual tumors, or very ill-defined skin cancers.
Mohs surgery provides the highest known cure rate in removing cutaneous malignancies. One study at the Mayo Clinic showed a 98% cure rate in the removal of skin cancers from over 3,300 patients. Moreover, since only the cancerous tissue is removed, the greatest amount of normal skin is allowed to remain thereby creating the smallest wound possible. The smaller the wound, the greater the chance for an excellent cosmetic result after the wound has completely healed.
Commonly performed on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic, the surgery generally begins in the morning and is finished that day unless the tumor is exceedingly extensive. Due to the very thin layer-by-layer removal with laboratory preparation and microscopic examination, a great deal of precision is utilized often requiring a few hours. Today’s fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeons often complete cosmetic reconstructive surgery, but occasionally another physician may be consulted.
Dr. Bundy has treated over 25,000 skin cancers with an exceedingly low rate of tumor recurrence – a 99% five-year cure rate for cutaneous malignancies.
This has been possible largely in part due to the micro-graphic techniques employed locally as an in-office procedure with Mohs surgery.
Fellowship-trained in lasers and skin cancer, Dr. Bundy utilizes skills in pathology and plastic reconstruction.