Mohs Surgery FAQ's

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs Surgery, also known as chemosurgery, is a procedure designed to excise entire lesions of skin cancer utilizing frozen section histology. Designed by Frederic E. Mohs, M.D. in the 1930's,  it is most commonly used  in the treatment of  basal and  squamous cell carcinoma, the two most common types of skin cancer, although it can also be used to treat melanoma and other types of cancer.

What Are the Advantages of Mohs Surgery?

The most significant advantage to Mohs surgery is its extremely high success rate. Studies have shown that primary basal cell carcinoma removal has a 97-99% cure rate, while squamous cell carcinoma is considered to be successful approximately 94% of the time.

Will MOHS surgery leave a scar?

Yes, Mohs surgery will leave a scar, as will any treatment for skin cancer.

Mohs surgery preserves as much healthy skin as possible and maximizes options for repairing the surgical defect, once the tumor is completely removed. Once the Mohs surgeon has completely removed your skin cancer through Mohs surgery, reconstruction for optimizing the final functional and cosmetic result becomes the highest priority. Generally, a post-surgical scar improves with time and can take up to 1 year or more to fully mature. As your surgical site heals, new blood vessels can appear and support the healing changes occurring underneath the skin. This can result in the reddish appearance of the scar. This change is temporary and will improve with time.

All surgical procedures carry the risk of scarring, and Mohs surgery is no different. However, the dermatologist performing Mohs surgery can utilize multiple methods to further prevent visible scarring to the affected area.

why is a fellowship trained mohs surgeon important?

The American College Of Mohs Surgery fellowship is an additional course of study for 1 to 2 years that provides the opportunity for dermatologist to develop good judgment and become highly skilled in Mohs surgery. Dr. Whitaker not only belongs to the ACMS, but has trained over 22 Mohs surgeons in approved training sites during his career.  You can learn more by visiting the American College of Mohs surgery at mohscollege.org.