All you need to know about Mohs Micrographic Surgery for Skin Cancer - Dr Crosby
It allows us to treat and remove the skin cancer with a high degree of certainty and leaves behind the smallest scar.
Three most common treatments for skin cancer are;
- Standard excision
- Mohs surgery
It has a very high cure rate and good for areas where we are not too concerned about scarring such as your back or the lower thigh.
Radiation is also an effective treatment for skin cancer but the only problem with this method is not having a high cure rate. This is a good choice for patients who do not like nor can tolerate surgeries.
Mohs surgery is the most advanced and effective treatment available for skin cancer.
The Three common skin cancer that can be treated using Mohs surgeries are;
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
When patients come in for the surgery, I talk to them before the procedure begins.
The duration of the process depends on the size and how much skin cancer has been found.
To learn more about the Mohs procedure, contact us at (619) 377-4949.
About Mohs skin cancer surgeryThe Mohs procedure is a meticulous technique that was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930s. This surgical technique maximizes the potential for success in the removal of skin cancer tumors. This is accomplished through a diligent process that differs from conventional excision in the following ways:
- Mohs micrographic surgery involves 100 percent examination of the margins of a growth.
- The greatest amount of tissue is preserved through the step-by-step removal process, leading to a more aesthetically pleasing result.
- Excised tissue is evaluated immediately and continually throughout the Mohs procedure, which enables us to confirm 100 percent removal of diseased cells.
- The cure rate with Mohs surgery is 97 - 99 percent in most cases.
Mohs micrographic surgery boasts the highest cure rate for most skin cancers. Because of the systematic excision and microscopic evaluation that takes place, this technique is regarded as one of the best options for skin cancer treatment today. Patients of Grossmont Skin Cancer Treatment Center can learn more about the Mohs procedure during their consultation visit.
Meet our Mohs SurgeonWe are proud to have Dr. Christopher Crosby as a part of our team. Dr. Crosby graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston with his M.D. and Ph.D. He completed his internship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center followed by his residency in Dermatology at Emory University where he was Chief Resident. Following his residency, Dr. Crosby completed a rigorous Fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Procedural Dermatology at the University of California San Francisco, accredited by ACGME.
We are committed to providing our patients with the full spectrum of care they need to ensure resolution of their dermatologic concerns. To learn more about the Mohs procedure, contact us at (619) 462-1670.
La Mesa Specialized Surgeon Explains About Mohs SurgerySpecialized surgeon Dr. Crosby of Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic in La Mesa, CA explains about MOHS Micrographic Surgery. A video not to be missed!
Mohs Micrographic Surgery FAQs
Will I need to Stay in the Hospital After Mohs Surgery?Mohs micrographic surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home shortly afterward. Dr. Crosby will examine the removed tissue to confirm 100% of the skin cancer tumor is gone immediately after your procedure. You may have follow-up appointments to check on healing and confirm you are cancer-free, but the surgery itself is a single-day treatment that uses local anesthesia.
What Types of Skin Cancer Are Treated with Mohs Surgery?The Mohs procedure is regularly used to treat basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma cancer types.
Basal cell carcinoma may appear as red patches, shiny bumps or scars, pink growths or open sores on the skin. These abnormal lesions develop on the skin's outermost layer. Squamous cell skin cancer can occur in red, scaly lesions, raised growths with sunken middles, crusty or bleeding and open sores. These tumors develop in the skin's upper layers.
Medical professionals consider melanoma to be the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Malignant tumors are formed by rapid skill cell mutations and generally start in the basal layer (outermost layer of the skin). Melanoma growths often look like moles and may be black, brown, purple, blue, pink, white or flesh-colored.
What Sets Mohs Surgery Apart from Other Skin Cancer Procedures?The cancerous growth is removed during Mohs surgery, but our surgeon also excises surrounding skin tissue that appears normal. The tissue sample is mapped and processed, then examined by Dr. Crosby using a microscope to identify cancer cells. If cancer is found in the specimen, he will mark the location and remove additional tissue from the surgical site. These steps repeat until the tumor is completely removed.
Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate (more than 98%) of all skin cancer procedures because 100% of the skin margin is closely examined to ensure the cancerous cells are gone.
One of the benefits of Mohs surgery is that it is considered a “tissue sparing” procedure only removing the cancerous cells and saving more of the uninvolved tissue. Standard skin cancer surgery does not inspect the removed tissues the same days as the procedure, increasing your risk of a second surgery should the pathology lab find positive margins for cancer.
Do Insurance Providers Cover the Cost of Mohs Surgery?While circumstances vary, many insurance companies pay for Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer. You may need prior authorization for insurance coverage.
Is Skin Cancer Life-Threatening?Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are typically not fatal cancers. However, squamous cell carcinoma may spread to other areas without early diagnosis and treatment. These tumors grow unabated without diagnosis and timely removal. Melanoma is a form of life-threatening skin cancer.
How Can I Prepare for Mohs Surgery?Our doctor will instruct you on how to prepare for Mohs micrographic surgery during your initial consultation. The outpatient procedure uses local anesthetic so you can eat normally beforehand and take your regular medications unless told otherwise. Discuss your medical history and current medications and ask Dr. Crosby if there are any steps you can take before Mohs surgery to ensure a successful outcome.
Alcohol consumption and smoking inhibit wound healing and may complicate surgery.
What Should I Expect During Recovery from Mohs Surgery?Bring a friend or family member with you, if instructed to do so, on the day of your Mohs procedure, especially if they will be helping you clean and dress the wound. You may have some soreness at the surgical site that can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If possible, avoid aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce bleeding risks.
There will be some swelling and bruising for several days, and you will need to limit your physical activities to avoid lifting heavy objects or vigorous exercise. Intense physical activity can lead to bleeding and may risk healing time. Proper post-surgical care is very important and may contribute to faster healing time.
Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center Staff
Grossmont Dermatology is committed to providing patients with excellent quality skin treatments to help them preserve their youth. They use the latest technologies and treatment modalities to provide patients with the most effective services suiting their individual needs. The team of professionals at the practice comprise:
- Paul B. Dean, MD, MPH, FAAD – Specializes in general dermatology, mole and lesion removal, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and skin cancer treatments.
- Maki Christine Goskowicz, MD, FAAD – Expertise includes general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, and skin cancer surgery and Botox treatments.
- Christopher Crosby, MD, PhD, FAAD - Specialist in Mohs surgery and reconstructive dermatologic surgery for skin cancers.
- Shinko Lin, MD – Specializes in general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, skin cancer treatments, and PDT.
- Sam Khalifian, MD – Specializes in adult and pediatric autoimmune connective tissue disease, skin cancer and melanoma treatments, hair loss disorders, and cosmetics.
- Helene Jolly, PA-C, MPAP – Performs cosmetic dermatology, acne and skin rash treatments, and mole removal among other tasks.
- Kira A. Tellache, PA-C – Performs general dermatology including acne and skin rashes as well as cosmetic dermatology and mole removal.