Why Mohs?

June 30, 2022

Why Mohs?

Historically, treatment for most skin cancers was performed via traditional excision. In a traditional excision procedure, the cancerous area is cut out of the body with some additional healthy skin around it, called a margin. Excising the tumor with a margin is done to remove any cancer cells that have spread into the surrounding tissue. The margin is examined in a lab, and depending on the results, your doctor will determine if more excisions need to be done or if all the cancerous cells were successfully excised.

Traditional excision is a reliable procedure in terms of success. However, another excision technique, called Mohs, was developed to help minimize the margin of skin needed to remove the skin cancer. The Mohs technique is revered as the most effective and precise treatment for most types of skin cancer. In a Mohs procedure, doctors precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, layer by layer, to avoid disturbing healthy surrounding tissue as much as possible. This is possible by examining the tissue in the office rather than in an outside lab like a traditional excision. The Mohs procedure ultimately reduces the amount of healthy tissue removed, which improves cosmetic outcomes during reconstruction. Dr. Pennie is Board-Certified and fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery, and during her fellowship training, she performed hundreds of Mohs procedures and advanced reconstructions.

Best Outcome and As Little Damage as Possible

The Mohs procedure is distinctly different from traditional surgical excision. Through the Mohs process, Dr. Pennie is able to examine 100% of your tumor margins, spare as much healthy tissue as possible, and leave the smallest scar possible. Unlike traditional excisions where a standardized margin of tissue is cut from the body, the Mohs technique only removes  as much tissue as necessary to completely remove the skin cancer. 

Highest Cure Rate

The Mohs technique boasts a 99% success rate, making it the highest cure rate for complex skin cancers. Such a high success rate is due to its remarkably precise, microscopic nature. With the Mohs technique, Dr. Pennie surgically removes the tumor and carefully maps, color-codes, and thoroughly examines the tissue microscopically on the same day of surgery. During this process, she evaluates 100% of the tissue margin to ensure that the tumor is completely removed prior to the repair of the skin defect.

Your Desired Cosmetic Goals Are Our Goals

Although scarring of some kind is inevitable with any excision, it’s our commitment at Paradise Dermatology to ensure your satisfaction and confidence after your Mohs procedure. Everyone heals at a different rate and the scar will look different over time. Initially, it will be red and bumpy, but eventually, the scar will be a barely visible “hair-thin” white line. The reconstructive process post-op is different for every patient, and Dr. Pennie will discuss and help you examine your options.

Dr. Pennie performs reconstructive surgeries on-site. She is specially trained in advanced reconstruction after the Mohs procedure. In some instances, if the cancer involves the eyelids or the reconstruction requires you to be put to sleep, Dr. Pennie will work with other specialists to coordinate your reconstruction.