Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands – Omaha Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is arguably the most effective way of treating the two most common types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer). Dr. Frederic Mohs developed this special surgery that is now known as the gold standard to treat skin cancer during the time he was in medical school in the 1930s. In the 1970s the Mohs surgery was adapted to be even more rapid, using what is called the frozen-tissue technique. To this day, Mohs surgery has remained the most successful treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
Mohs Surgery Omaha – Mohs Micrographic Surgery Treatment
Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer are extremely common with more than 3 million cases per year in the United States. Omaha Mohs surgery at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands clinics gives the highest cure rate of all treatments for these two types of skin cancers. Before discussing that more, it’s very important to point out that most skin cancers are best treated with more simple surgeries instead of Mohs surgery.
Put another way, even though Omaha Mohs surgery at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands gives such a high cure rate for certain types of skin cancer, it is unnecessary for the treatment of the vast majority of these two common skin cancers.
Most skin cancers can be managed and treated with simpler, less invasive surgical techniques. Mohs micrographic surgery in Omaha is best reserved for certain higher-risk types of these cancers, including ones that are:
- microscopically aggressive
- located in high-risk parts of the body such as certain areas of the head and neck, fingers, toes, and genitals and it is important to only remove a minimal amount of healthy tissue.
- skin cancers that have been treated in the past and have come back after previous treatments (recurrent skin cancers)
- certain people who are at greater risk due to these skin cancers
- patients with weakened immune systems
In the case of skin cancers meeting one or more of these criteria, Mohs surgery Omaha at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands may be the best choice of treatment.
About Mohs Surgery
The Mohs procedure typically takes place in an outpatient setting. However, in cases that require more extensive reconstruction, Mohs surgery will be performed in an operating room under general anesthesia or sedation.
Before the removal of skin, your Mohs surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb the area thoroughly. The Mohs surgery technique is a state-of-the-art treatment that involves surgically removing the skin cancer and a small amount of normal surrounding skin. This specimen of removed skin and surrounding tissue is carefully and methodically transferred to the laboratory where:
- it is specially labeled with tissue marking inks
- a surgical map is created to define the shape, size, and orientation of the piece of skin
This skin specimen is then rapidly frozen in a machine known as a cryo-stat. The piece of skin is flattened in such a way that when microscopically thin slices of it are prepared, these will enable the Mohs surgeon to examine the entire margin, including the outside and deep edges of the skin.
In addition to complete checking of the margins microscopically, the other key part of Mohs surgery is that the surgeon removing the pieces of tissue also acts as the pathologist examining the slides prepared from the tissue for any remaining tumor. If any is identified, this can carefully be marked out on the map, and then any additional pieces of skin can be removed from the patient where necessary.
The process is then repeated until the skin cancer is completely removed. It is at this point that plans for the repair of any wounds left by the removal of the skin cancer can be made to close the wound and let the wound heal.
Mohs Surgery FAQs
Will Moh’s Surgery Leave a Scar?
Yes, however, the extent of scarring can vary based on factors like lesion size, location, surgeon skill, and individual healing. Surgeons often prioritize cosmetic outcomes, and techniques such as skin grafts may be used when needed. While some scarring may occur, it is usually less noticeable and can fade with time and proper care. Discussing scarring concerns with the surgeon is advisable for a personalized understanding of what to expect.
How Much Does A Mohs Surgery Cost?
Due to Mohs Micrographic Surgery being a special multi-step process, it is typically more expensive than other types of skin cancer treatments. However, the advantages of the Mohs technique, including the ability to spare healthy tissue, lower recurrence rate, and more must be considered in the total cost of the procedure. To learn more about estimated insurance reimbursement rates and/or possible payment plan information, contact our billing department.
What are the Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
Mohs Micrographic Surgery offers several advantages for the treatment of skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma:
- High Cure Rates: It boasts cure rates exceeding 95%.
- Tissue Preservation: Minimizes the removal of healthy tissue.
- Precise Margin Assessment: Ensures complete removal of cancerous cells.
- Cosmetic Outcome: Prioritizes minimal scarring and improved aesthetics.
- Outpatient Procedure: Usually performed without hospitalization.
- Minimized Scarring: Results in smaller, less noticeable scars.
- Local Anesthesia: Mohs surgery typically requires only local anesthesia.
- Faster Results: Same-day wound closure and reduced waiting time.
- Reduced Recurrence: Lower likelihood of cancer returning.
How Soon Will I Receive Results from Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery offers same-day margin analysis and wound closure, leading to faster results and potentially avoiding additional surgeries.
Why Can’t You Exercise After Mohs Surgery?
To minimize the risk of complications such as infections, patients are advised to allow their bodies sufficient time to heal following Mohs surgery.
Although it may be tempting to return to your usual exercise routine immediately after surgery, there are important factors to consider beforehand. The recovery time needed can vary significantly, depending on factors such as the size and depth of the wound and the patient’s overall health and age.
The recovery process may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or months. Your doctor can give you a more accurate timeframe based on your specific circumstances.
What Kind of Exercise Can I Do After Mohs Surgery?
Engaging in low-impact exercises that do not exert excessive pressure on the affected area is recommended after a surgical procedure.
Walking, swimming, yoga, and stretching are ideal activities to help you regain your fitness level without exerting undue pressure on the wound site. These exercises aid in enhancing blood flow and boosting flexibility while minimizing stress on the affected area.
While resuming physical activities after undergoing Mohs surgery is not a uniform process, there are some general guidelines that can assist in ensuring a successful recovery. Consult with your dermatologist for more information about resuming phyisical activity after Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
Mohs Surgery Omaha, NE
Dermatologist Training – Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands (Omaha, NE & Council Bluffs, IA)
In addition to experience, special training is needed for a dermatologist to be a Mohs surgeon. At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, both of our board-certified dermatologists, Drs. James M Shehan and Mathew A. Davey are fellows of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
The American Society of Mohs Surgery provides highly specialized ongoing training, testing, and certification for dermatologists who perform Mohs micrographic surgery on high-risk skin cancer cells. Dr. Davey and Dr. Shehan have more than 20 years of combined experience in performing the Mohs surgery technique in practice.
If you have additional questions regarding this Omaha’s Mohs surgical treatment for skin cancer, please contact Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands.