Mohs micrographic surgery is generally regarded as the most effective way to treat the most common types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs surgery is a specialized treatment performed by a specially trained doctor like Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants’ Dr. Thomas McGovern, who is the only fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in the area. His fellowship training required an extra year of study and practice concentrated on mastering this complex surgical technique. So why is this process considered optimal?
Dr. McGovern removes a layer of cancerous tissue at a time, and examines 100% of the tissue he removes in a lab environment. This ensures that he knows exactly where any cancer cells remain, and continues to remove them only from those precise locations, until every sample he removes is determined to be cancer-free.
Without this process, surgeons make a “best guess” at the area and amount to remove, potentially leaving cancerous tissue behind.
With the Mohs technique, the physician can identify the tumor’s margins and remove cancerous cells with exact precision, which also means leaving the most healthy tissue intact. Each layer that Dr. McGovern removes is not only analyzed for cancer cells, but also for healthy tissue, to keep as much of it as possible, which minimizes scarring or the need for additional cosmetic repair.
With other, less precise techniques, healthy tissue may be removed “just in case,” which then requires more work to repair the area, and may compromise aesthetics.
Not only does Dr. McGovern make sure tumors are precisely and thoroughly removed, but since the damage to healthy tissue is minimized, there is less visible damage to repair. Additionally, since the repair or reconstruction of the area is made during the same visit, the result is optimal healing and the best appearance.
With other procedures, there may be days or weeks between the removal of your cancerous tissue and your aesthetic reconstruction, which can add up to additional cost, recovery time, and possibly greater scarring and damage.
Reduce the stress of getting your skin cancer taken care of. Mohs surgery is as efficient as it is effective, since it is a single-visit outpatient surgery, using local anesthesia, and the lab work is done on site. Dr. McGovern is frequently able to perform all of the stages of removal, tissue analysis, and reconstruction in one visit.
With other methods, you may find yourself juggling multiple appointments, with multiple providers, and costs can add up surprisingly fast – the opposite of stress-free!
Mohs often eliminates skin cancer where other methods have failed. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the success rate for Mohs surgery is up to 99% for treatment of a skin cancer that has never been treated, and up to 94% for skin cancer that has recurred following previous treatment.
Have confidence that the treatment you receive is the best. Take complete care of skin cancer the first time, with the least amount of disruption and lowest possibility of recurrence.
No, not all skin cancers are best treated with Mohs surgery. The Mohs procedure is especially good for cancers of the face, scalp, neck, and hands, cancers that are large or deep, previously-treated cancers, and those with a particularly aggressive appearance under the microscope. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is treated in other ways a significant majority of the time.
There’s no question that Mohs is the gold standard, especially for treating cancer on cosmetically important areas. Dr. McGovern has performed Mohs surgery on more than 24,000 tumors, and has been with us since January of 2000.
Annual skin cancer screenings are still the most effective method for early skin cancer detection and complete recovery. Call our office to schedule your skin cancer screening: (260) 436-8000.