What is Mohs surgery?
Lately, I’ve been working like crazy to help launch a brand new cosmetic dermatology office on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The highly credentialed and super smart dermatologist (Dr. Quenby Erickson, who is my boss, the owner, and the medical director all-in-one) is board certified and fellowship trained in Mohs Surgery. Sometimes, when I’m bragging about how talented Dr. Erickson is, people will say: “NOSE surgery??” No, actually: MOHS Surgery. Here’s what it is:
Here’s Dr Erickson performing a Mohs surgery.
To the patient: Don’t worry, Dr E trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center. You’re in good hands!
Named for Frederic Mohs (1910-2002), this specialty surgical procedure allows the physician to remove the cancer while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.
With more than 2 Million Americans estimated to be affected by skin cancer this year, Mohs Micrographic surgical technique is more in-demand than ever. In addition to Mohs, Dr. Erickson also really enjoys the reconstruction aspect, which has saved patients from disfigurement. It’s a pretty great process.
Step 1: A conservative amount of tissue is removed. Step 2: While the patient waits, the tissue will be examined under a microscope to see if the margins are clear Step 3: If the margins are clear, the patient is good to go. Slightly more tissue will be removed and the steps will be repeated only if the margins aren’t clear.
Imagine if you had a cancerous lesion on your cheek (yikes). You’d want the cancer to be gone, but with the smallest amount tissue removed as possible. Beyond that, you’d want to be reconstructed beautifully. That’s what a Mohs surgeon can do for you. (Sometimes, closures can be sent out to a plastic surgeon). As Dr. Erickson says: “Removing tissue from a person’s back is one thing; it becomes a bigger deal on the lip, eyelid or nose.” Glad to have you, Mohs surgeons!!
Here’s Dr E checking to see if the margins are clear.
Click here for what sets fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons apart from the rest, and click here for patient information on Mohs surgery.
Until next time: Stay Fabulous, (and wear your sunscreen!!) My Friends!