Mohs surgery


Mohs surgery for the removal of skin cancers is named after Dr Frederic Mohs who developed the technique in the 1930's. During Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed and immediately examined by microscope to confirm that removal is complete. If not, further removal is carried out (see diagram). This means the greatest accuracy in cancer removal, and plastic surgical repair can proceed immediately. The best cure rates are achieved with Mohs surgery, which is the gold standard. 

The traditional technique involves removing the skin cancer, and sending it to the pathologist which takes one or 2 days. This means that plastic surgical repair must often be delayed, or if undertaken, increased risk of cancer remaining behind. The traditional technique is still recommended for selected tumours, including melanoma and extensive cancers involving bone.

Mohs Surgery is primarily used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas when the cancer has recurred or involves scar tissue; the cancer involves the lip, nose or ear; if the cancer is large or poorly defined or growing rapidly; or if there has been previous treatment with radiotherapy. After Mohs surgery removes the cancer, Dr Maloof performs plastics surgery to repair the area. This repair is called Mohs reconstruction. Dr Maloof has been performing specialised Mohs reconstruction for more than 10 years and is appointed as VMO to the Skin and Cancer Foundation in Westmead.  

read what others have said about Mohs reconstruction surgery 


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