Mohs surgery is the most effective and advanced treatment for skin cancer today. It offers the highest potential for cure—even if the skin cancer has been previously treated by another method.
Overview and Advantages of Mohs Surgery
Originally developed in the 1930s, the procedure has been continuously refined into the most advanced, precise, and effective treatment for most skin cancer types. With the Mohs technique, Dr. Lahti can precisely identify and remove an entire tumor while leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed.
The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached. Mohs surgery has the highest success rate of all treatments for skin cancer—up to 99%.
The Types of Skin Cancers That Can be Treated By Mohs Surgery
The technique of Mohs Surgery is applicable to many types of skin cancers. The most common types of cancers treated by Dr. Lahti include basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma in-situ.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery
Other skin cancer treatment methods blindly estimate the amount of tissue to treat, which can result in the unnecessary removal of healthy skin tissue and tumor re-growth if any cancer is missed. The uniqueness and effectiveness of Mohs surgery is derived from microscopically examining and evaluating 100% of the surgical margins on the removed tissue. The pathologic interpretation of the tissue is done by the Dr. Lahti, who is specially trained in the reading of these slides and is best able to correlate the microscopic findings with the surgical site on the patient.
The advantages of Mohs surgery include:
- Ensuring complete cancer removal during surgery, virtually eliminating the chance of the cancer growing back
- Minimizing the amount of healthy tissue lost
- Maximizing the functional and cosmetic outcome resulting from surgery
- Repairing the site of the cancer the same day the cancer is removed, in most cases
- Curing skin cancer when other methods have failed
Why Rapid Immunohistochemistry Is Important in Mohs Surgery
Immunohistochemistry involves targeting antibodies against cell surface proteins to more accurately identify cancer cells under the microscope. This technique is particularly useful for unusual or aggressive cancers that may be difficult to identify under the microscope. Most Mohs surgical offices need to send removed tissue to an out-of-office laboratory for the immunohistochemistry test to be run overnight. At DPNS Surgical Center, this test can be run in approximately half an hour, making it possible to remove other Mohs layers if needed and test each one. This technique allows Dr. Lahti to more accurately confirm clearance of even the most difficult tumors.
Why Choose a Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon?
You want your skin cancer treatment to be performed in accordance with the highest standards of quality and competency. The American College of Mohs Surgery is the only organization that requires its members to have successfully completed an extensive fellowship that requires at least one full year of training in the surgical removal, pathologic evaluation, and reconstruction of wounds from skin cancer treatment. Only members like Dr. Lahti, who have completed the accredited fellowship required by the American College of Mohs Surgery, can claim to be fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons.