Medical Dermatology: Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery provides the highest cure rate and smallest scar for many types of skin cancers. Depending on the diagnosis, location, and other features of your skin cancer, your doctor may recommend Mohs surgery.

This technique was named after Frederick Mohs who developed the approach in the 1930s. It involves excising the skin cancer and then evaluating 100% of the excised margin while you wait. Preparation of the skin tissue for examination under the microscope may take 45 minutes or longer. The process of excising additional skin and examining it is repeated until clear margins are confirmed. Most patients are cleared of their skin cancers in 1-3 “layers” of Mohs surgery.

Once the skin cancer is confirmed cleared, the resulting skin defect is repaired. Sometimes the defect may be allowed to heal on its own (second intention), while other times it must be reconstructed with sutures. If the wound requires sutures, you may be asked to follow up in 1 to 3 weeks to have the sutures removed.

After the sutures are removed, the incision is not completely healed. Your scar will continue to mature and improve for an entire year. Some patients may benefit from addition revisions or dermabrasion to optimize the final cosmetic result.

Dr. Perlis and his team are particularly skilled in Mohs surgery. He completed an internship in general surgery at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a one year Mohs fellowship through the American College of Mohs Surgery at Brown University. He and his team have successfully performed over 12,000 Mohs surgeries since he returned to the region over ten years ago.