Fighting Adult Skin Conditions: Is There Help for Your Acne?

3 Reasons You May Be Recommended Mohs Micrographic Surgery

by Art Bishop

Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, even on body parts that don't usually receive sun exposure. This is because, while sun damage can increase your risk of skin cancer, it is not the sole determining factor. The good news is that skin cancer is highly treatable, especially if it is diagnosed early.

Removal of cancerous lesions is the first step in treating skin cancer. There are different types of excision surgery available, but one such method is called Mohs micrograph procedure. During Mohs surgery, excised pieces of tissue are examined under a microscope to check for the presence of cancerous cells. The procedure continues until cancerous cells are no longer detected in the margins of the final sample. There are many reasons that your dermatologist may decide that Mohs surgery is the best choice for you. Here are three reasons that you may be scheduled for this type of skin cancer surgery.

1. Your Skin Cancer Is Located in a Sensitive or Highly Visible Area

Mohs surgery is more precise than other types of excision surgery. Since each piece of tissue is examined as it is removed, doctors can afford to be conservative in their excision. This can be especially important on delicate body parts, such as the hands, breasts, and genitals. It can also be highly beneficial on visible parts of the body, such as the face since Mohs surgery can be used to reduce scarring.

2. Previous Attempts at Excision Surgery Have Been Unsuccessful

In some cases, you may be referred for Mohs surgery after an unsuccessful prior attempt at excision surgery. If the samples from your last procedure exhibited margins containing traces of cancerous cells, your doctor will likely recommend excision surgery to ensure that your cancer is fully removed. Mohs surgery can prevent the need for additional surgeries in the future. 

3. Your Doctor Would Prefer to Err on the Side of Caution

In some cases, dermatologists will recommend Mohs surgery out of an abundance of caution. This is especially likely for patients who have been diagnosed with more aggressive forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma. Dermatologists have extensive experience treating diseases of the skin, including skin cancer. It's always in a patient's best interests to follow the advice of their doctor. If you'd like to know more about your doctor's treatment recommendations, you can always ask them to explain their choices in detail.