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Everything You Need to Know About Mohs Surgery – A Guide

Side view of a woman's face with a bandage after recent Mohs Surgery

When most of us think about cancer treatment, we think about chemotherapy. But chemo is only one option, used primarily when cancerous growths can’t be treated with surgery or radiation. When it comes to skin cancer, chemo is a rare method. In most cases, surgical excision or even immunotherapy may be recommended. But there is another surgical procedure that’s become the gold standard—Mohs surgery.

What is this form of surgery? How successful is it and what does it involve? At Skin MD in Chicago, IL, we use Mohs surgery to save lives—each and every day. While a diagnosis of skin cancer can be frightening, this modern surgical procedure is creating amazing results.

Here’s everything you need to know about the leading skin cancer treatment in Chicago, IL.

Mohs Surgery 101 – Your Guide to Successful Skin Cancer Treatment

While skin cancer can be fatal, it’s frequently treated successfully when detected early. Remember: you are the first and best line of defense against a skin cancer diagnosis. Everyone should schedule annual skin cancer screenings, especially if you spend hours in the sun or if you have a family history of melanoma or other cancers.

Call Skin MD at (708) 636-3767 or contact us online to get the peace of mind you deserve.

What is Mohs Surgery?

For decades, surgical excision (physically cutting away tissue) was the preferred treatment for cancerous skin lesions and moles. But in some cases, surgical excision can leave cancerous cells behind while removing healthy skin. This causes the healing process to take longer and can leave unsightly scars.

While surgical excision is still used in some instances, Mohs micrographic surgery is the modern gold standard. This surgery involves numbing the area and carefully cutting slices of cancerous tissue away. Each slice is then checked under a microscope. When no more cancerous cells are detected, the surgery ends.

Mohs surgery preserves more healthy tissue and boasts a near 99% success rate.

What Does Mohs Surgery Stand for?

Contrary to popular opinion, Mohs surgery isn’t an acronym. In other words, it doesn’t stand for anything. The procedure was invented by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the early 20th century and still bears his name to this day.

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take?

Generally speaking, Mohs surgery can take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours. It is a deliberate surgical procedure that involves removing cancerous tissue slice by slice. Furthermore, each slice is analyzed carefully under a microscope before more tissue is removed. This method creates two outcomes: the removal of cancerous cells and the preservation of healthy tissue.

Patients are encouraged to bring a book, tablet, or other form of entertainment to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

What Qualifies for Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery can be used to treat numerous forms of skin cancer, especially when it’s detected in the early stages. Mohs surgery is commonly used for:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Other skin cancers

At Skin MD, we may suggest Mohs surgery, surgical excision, radiation, immunotherapy, or a combination of these and other treatments, depending on your circumstances.

How Painful is Mohs Surgery?

For most patients, this surgery is completely comfortable and pain-free. Before the procedure begins, your surgeon will numb the area thoroughly. This anesthetic should last throughout the procedure regardless of how long it takes.

Keep Healthy Skin & Treat Cancer in Chicago, IL

Few of us expect a skin cancer diagnosis. Even fewer of us know how to react. At Skin MD in Chicago, IL, we know how difficult skin cancer can be. Thankfully, modern surgical techniques can successfully remove skin cancer while preserving the maximum amount of healthy skin.

Get your suspicious mole or spot checked out today and know that you’ve got more healthy, happy years ahead of you.

Worried About Skin Cancer? Schedule an Appointment with Skin MD Today!

With locations throughout Chicago and some of the leading dermatologists in Illinois, Skin MD has the experience, equipment, and surgical skill to detect and treat skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer, regularly spend hours in the sun, or if you get sunburns easily, you may be at higher risk. Schedule your skin cancer screening today by calling (708) 636-3767 or contacting us online.

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