If you have a skin issue that you feel may be cancerous, it’s easy to jump into panic mode. There are so many warnings these days about wearing sunscreen and avoiding skin cancer, that it can be a little scary to find that you actually have what everyone is trying to avoid. But, before you start worrying, it’s important to understand that there are different types of skin cancer, and many can be safely removed with great success. Keep reading to learn about the Moh’s surgery procedure, and how it can be used to help remove cancerous spots from your skin.
The roots of skin cancer may extend beyond the visible portion of the tumor, and it’s important to collect all of the pertinent tissue. If the roots aren’t removed, cancer will come back. A surgery starts with your provider examining the visible lesion and determining what tissue to remove. You will receive local anesthesia before the surgery starts.
We remove the visible portion of the tumor using careful surgical techniques.
We next remove a deeper layer of skin and split it up into sections. These sections are then color-coded with dyes. We make reference marks on the skin to show the source of each section. A map of the surgical site is then drawn so we can track exactly where each portion of tissue came from on your skin.
In a laboratory, your provider will use a microscope to examine the undersurface and edges of each section of tissue, looking for any signs of cancer.
If we find cancer cells under the microscope, we mark their location on the “map” and returns to the patient to remove another slightly deeper layer of skin.
The removal process stops when there is no longer any evidence of cancer in the surgical site. Because Moh’s surgery removes only tissue containing cancer, it means making the smallest scar and leaving the most healthy skin intact.