Mohs Surgical Unit: What to Expect

Through the Mohs Surgical Unit with Facial Plastics and Cosmetic Surgery at Group Health Clifton, patients can expect:  

  • Comprehensive – and in many cases one-stop – care for the removal and reconstruction of small and large, complex skin cancers.
  • Care from a multidisciplinary team of experts who will manage your skin cancer case, including oncologic surgeons, specializing in the treatment of melanomas, as well as facial plastic surgeons who assist in reconstructions.

Mohs Surgery: How it Works

Mohs surgery is an extremely effective technique for removing basal cell and squamous cell cancers, the two most common skin cancers, as well as other less common skin cancers. This is accomplished by sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue while completely expunging cancer cells.

Mohs differs from other techniques in that microscopic examination of excised tissues occurs during rather than after surgery, eliminating the need to estimate how far out or deep the roots of the skin cancer go. The procedure entails removing one thin layer of tissue at a time. As each layer is removed, the margins are immediately studied under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.

If persistent tumor is found at the margins, the procedure is repeated until all the margins of the final tissue sample examined are clear of cancer. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in removing large and complex skin cancers as well as sparing tissue in cosmetically sensitive and essential areas. This allows the surgical defect to be repaired quickly and efficiently to produce the best therapeutic and cosmetic result for the patient.