Dr. Lahti performs Mohs micrographic surgery as an outpatient procedure, and has an on-site surgical suite and laboratory for immediate preparation and microscopic examination of the tissue. Typically, the surgery starts in the morning and is completed the same day, depending on the extent of the tumor and the amount of reconstruction necessary.
Local anesthesia is administered around the area of the tumor, and the patient is awake during the entire procedure. Using local anesthesia prevents a lengthy recovery and the possible side effects from general anesthesia. After the area is numbed, Dr. Lahti removes a thin layer of tissue surrounding the visible tumor. The tissue is prepared and put on slides by a technician and examined under the microscope by Dr. Lahti. If there is evidence of cancer, another layer of tissue is taken from the area where the cancer was detected. This ensures that only cancerous tissue is removed during the procedure, minimizing the loss of healthy tissue. These steps are repeated until all the samples are free of cancer. Most tumors are able to be removed in 1 to 3 stages by the Mohs technique.
When the surgery is complete, Dr. Lahti will assess the wound and discuss options for the ideal functional and cosmetic reconstruction. If reconstruction is necessary, Dr. Lahti can usually perform the reconstructive surgery to repair the area on the same day as the tumor removal.