What is Mohs surgery?

A patient with a doctor
Mohs surgery is a unique procedure where tissue is removed and examined layer by layer until all cancer cells are gone. It allows doctors to remove only cancerous skin while leaving the rest of your skin intact and free of scarring.

What is it like to have Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is non-invasive, and it ranks exceptionally low in the pain department. On the day of the surgery, your surgeon begins by examining the cancer and performing a local anesthetic, just to numb the infected area. (You remain awake during surgery.) Next, they remove the visible skin cancer as well as a thin, microscopic layer of surrounding skin that they will examine for further signs of cancer.

If cancer is found, the doctor will remove another thin layer of skin and examine it like the last one. This process is repeated until cancer is no longer detected.

After that, your surgeon will decide whether to treat your wound. Most wounds will heal fine on their own, while some may require stitches. But one of the best things about Mohs is that scarring is exceedingly rare thanks to the microscopic nature of the surgery.

What does Mohs stand for?

Mohs surgery is actually named after the man who pioneered the procedure, Dr. Frederick Mohs. He conceived of the idea in 1938, and it really took off during the 1970s when dermatologists made a few modifications that allowed it to emerge as the preferred method of skin cancer removal. For as long as it’s been around, the procedure has had a very high cure rate, and it’s thanks to Dr. Mohs innovations that countless patients have survived skin cancer.

Patient Success Story

G. Goldsmith

I was so impressed with Dr. Lefkowitz who performed his Mohs surgery as he expertly removed 100% of the basal cell carcinoma from the bridge of my nose and left almost no trace of my having such a procedure. I am thoroughly satisfied that I chose the right practice to address my dermatological needs.

What to expect during Mohs surgery

Each patient’s case is unique, but Mohs surgery follows the same course of action no matter what – that’s what makes it so reliable. Here are the four things to expect during Mohs surgery:

  • The visible cancer and microscopic layer of surrounding skin will be removed.
  • The skin tissue will be examined under a microscope by your surgeon.
  • If cancer is detected, another microscopic layer of skin is removed and examined in the exact same way.
  • The procedure is complete when the cancer is gone. No excess skin removal, no minimal scarring.

You’ll be back at home and cancer-free before you know it. To request a consultation, call 718-357-8200 or use our easy online contact form.