What You Should Know About Mohs Surgery

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be a scary reality. One of the treatments for some of the more common types of skin cancer is Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is a specific surgical technique that is used to treat skin cancer. This unique procedure has held up to the test of time. It is a significant improvement from previous local excision methods, which removes visible cancer and a small area around it. It has a high success rate and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits.

What is Mohs Surgery?



The Mohs technique allows the surgeon to see precisely where cancer stops. The cancer is removed with such preciseness; more healthy skin can remain intact. It is especially valuable in areas such as eyelids, genitals, ears, nose, feet, etc. It is the gold standard of treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are the most common forms of skin cancer. It is performed with other types of skin cancer, but there are guidelines.

The Procedure

Only a Mohs fellowship-trained surgeon will complete the procedure. The training means they have completed the extensive training fellowship specific to Mohs. Most of these surgeries can be completed safely in the office. A local anesthetic is used, so you remain awake and alert.

The surgeon begins by removing any visible skin cancer. Then, a thin layer of the surrounding skin is removed and mapped, and you are bandaged. The surgeon takes the layer to the lab, and it is examined to determine if any cancer cells are in the layer. If so, another thin layer is removed and examined. The process is repeated until there is no cancer remaining.

Once all the cancerous cells are removed, the surgeon will assess the wound to see if stitches or other types of treatment are needed. The wound will be addressed the same day unless it is large enough to require additional treatment.


Compared to other skin cancer treatments, Mohs provides the following benefits:

  • Results are given immediately versus an excision and waiting days for results.
  • It is completed in one long visit and then a follow-up, so no need for multiple trips and co-pays.
  • Mohs only uses a local anesthetic.
  • It has a high cure rate.
  • The surgery allows the maximum possible retention of healthy skin.
  • Most treatments have short recovery times, and the surgical sites are very minimal.

ForCare and Mohs

ForCare houses a state-of-the-art laboratory in our dermatology office. Board- Certified and Fellowship-Trained Dermatologic Surgeon Dr. Rachel Epstein completes the Mohs surgery. She completed a prestigious combined Procedural Dermatology and Mohs Micrographic Surgery Fellowship at Loma Linda University in California. She also served as a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and continues to teach Dermatology as a Volunteer Instructor.

To set up your dermatology consultation, call (813) 960-2400, or visit our website to pre-register.