This will help familiarize you with the Mohs micrographic surgical procedure.
What is Mohs micrographic surgery?
Mohs surgery is a method, of treating skin cancers and was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs of the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Mohs recognized that the extent of a skin cancer is often difficult to determine simply by looking at the surface of the skin. Skin cancers often have "silent extensions" that track under the skin surface. Certain sites, particularly on the face, are prone to this type of growth. Skin cancers that have recurred after previous treatment are also difficult to trace.
Dr. Mohs' technique is to excise the skin cancer in such a way that the edges and undersurface can be examined thoroughly under the microscope. The excised tissue is carefully color coded, mapped and processed onto slides for microscopic interpretation by the Mohs surgeon, All lab work is done in our office under the surgeon's supervision while you wait comfortably in our waiting area. If residual cancer is found, only the areas positive for skin cancer will be re-excised. This process or stage will be repeated until the slides reveal the entire skin cancer has been excised. You can expect to wait approximately up to one hour for each stage of Mohs surgery required. Once the skin cancer is completely removed, the wound will be repaired as discussed during your consultation. We recommend that you expect to be at our office for the better part of the day. If you take medication at a certain time during the day, please be sure to bring your medication with you.
What are the advantages of Mohs surgery?
The procedure is tissue sparing as only involved areas are excised, thereby enhancing the cosmetic result. Also, since the procedure allows for complete removal of the tumor, the chance for recurrence is low. Mohs has the highest cure rate - 99%.
Do I need to do anything special prior to surgery?
During Mohs surgery and the repair of the wound, we use the same local anesthetic that was used during the initial biopsy. Therefore, in most cases, you will be able to eat lightly before surgery as well as during the day while you are waiting.
Aspirin, aspirin-containing compounds, and ibuprofen should not be taken ten days prior to surgery. Any exceptions will be discussed prior to the surgery at your consultation. If you are taking an anticoagulant i.e.: Plavix® or Coumadin®, discontinuing may be recommended and will be cleared with your primary care physician. Please advise us if you are taking Vitamin E or any herbal supplements. Other important issues such as medical problems, medications, allergies and prophylactic antibiotics will be discussed during consultation prior to surgery. If your surgical site is on the face, we recommend you refrain from wearing a garment that will be pulled over your head. Loose fitting or button-down garments will be most comfortable.
Why Choose a Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon?
Mohs micrographic surgery has set a new standard in skin cancer treatment. An increasing number of physicians are performing Mohs surgery, which is now widely accepted as the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer. However, not all Mohs surgeons receive the same level of training as Dr. Zweibel, who is a fellowship trained Mohs surgeon.
When it comes to your skin cancer treatment, you deserve no less than the best. Dr. Zweibel has achieved the highest degree of Mohs surgery qualification by completing an American College of Mohs Surgery approved fellowship. For you, this means peace of mind, knowing that you will receive superior quality and competency, as well as an optimal outcome.
Dr. Zweibel and ACMS - Committed to Superior Care
As an ACMS trained physician, Dr. Zweibel gained an uncommon level of exposure, including everything from challenging tumor locations to rare tumor pathology and complex wound reconstruction. You can rest assured that he has the training and experience to achieve the best outcome from your skin cancer treatment.
For more information, visit the American College of Mohs Surgery at http://www.mohscollege.org/