Surgical Dermatology

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, skin-sparing surgery mostly used for skin cancers of the head and neck. It is also utilized for more aggressive skin cancers on the body. In addition to providing the highest cure rate available (99% for primary basal cell carcinoma, for example), it also tends to lead to smaller scars. Traditionally, skin cancers were removed with significant margins to ensure removal of the cancer, however, this left large defects. On the head and neck in particular, these can be difficult to close and leave large, unsightly scars. With Mohs surgery, only the diseased skin is removed, and healthy tissue is left intact. The technique involves checking 100% of the excised margin under the microscope while you wait. If any part of the margin is positive, another layer is taken, but just in the area or areas where skin cancer was still seen. Once all the skin cancer is removed, a closure is often performed. Dr. Ecker and his team are skilled in primary closures, flaps, and grafts. At times, we may recommend that mother nature be allowed to heal in a defect (so called second intention healing), a synthetic graft, or referral to plastic surgery for reconstruction.

Download the Mohs Information Pamphlet here.