Treating Skin Cancer with Mohs Surgery by a Dermatologist

Have you been diagnosed with basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas? Your doctor might have created a plan for treatment that includes Mohs Surgery. The procedure was developed over 60 years ago by Fredrick Mohs, a medical student at the University of Wisconsin. It is the most advanced method for treating skin cancers in sensitive areas.

Mohs Surgery is completed as an outpatient procedure. The positive advantage of the surgery is its cure rate. The American Society for Mohs Surgery stated that five-year cure rates are near 99% for new cancers and 95% for recurrent cancers. If you are about to undergo Mohs Surgery, you might be curious as to what to expect.

Dr. Matthew Halpern, one of our board-certified dermatologists, is a fellow trained Mohs Surgeon. He attended Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital. He completed a two-year fellowship in Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University. Dr. Halpern will be conducting the surgery. He is assisted by a specialized team of surgical assistants, a technician who prepares the tissue for microscopic examination, and our office staff.

Now that you understand who will be conducting the surgery, here are a few other things you should expect to occur:

  • Preliminary consultation. During your preliminary consultation, you will need to list the medications that you use. You will also need to inform your doctor of any preexisting medical conditions and allergies.
  • Length of the procedure. Typically, Mohs Surgery can take anywhere from 3-5 hours. However, that is dependent on the type and location of the cancer. Sometimes, it can run longer than that time frame. During the surgery, Dr. Halpern will examine and evaluate the skin tissue under a microscope. It is recommended that you bring something with you to occupy the time waiting.
  • Procedure specifics. Prior to the procedure beginning, you will receive a local anesthesia. The doctor will then remove the cancerous skin and stop bleeding with a cautery device. Once the layer is removed, the wound will be dressed and bandaged.
  • Post-op care. There are a few options for repairing the wound. This includes letting the wound heal on its own, applying stitches, or reconstructive surgery.

No matter your skin care needs; Windsor Dermatology will work to solve your problem. We have an excellent team of six board certified dermatologists that take pride in their work and strives for the highest quality care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the services we offer.

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