Omaha’s Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Omaha’s Mohs micrographic surgery is arguably the most effective way of treating the two most common skin cancers. Dr Frederic Mohs developed this special surgery during the time he was in medical school in the 1930s. In the 1970s the surgery was adapted to be even more rapid, using what is called frozen-tissue technique.  To this day, Mohs surgery in Omaha has remained the most successful treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.

Omaha’s 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, and Omaha’s Mohs micrographic surgery 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 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Put another way, even though Mohs surgery gives such high cure rate, it is unnecessary for the treatment of the vast majority of these two common skin cancers.

Skin Cancer

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
  • high-risk locations such as certain areas of the head and neck
  • 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, Omaha’s Mohs micrographic surgery may be the best choice of treatment.

Omaha’s Mohs Surgery Technique

The Mohs surgery technique involves surgically removing the skin cancer and a small amount of normal surrounding skin.  This specimen of removed skin is carefully and methodically transferred to the laboratory where it is:

  • specially labeled with tissue marking inks
  • 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.

Removing Tissue

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 additional pieces of skin can be removed from the patient where necessary.

The process is then repeated until the skin cancer is completely cured. It is at this point that plans for repair of any wounds left by removal of the skin cancer can then be made.

Mohs Surgery Omaha Dermatologist Training @ Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands

In addition to experience, special training is needed for a dermatologist to be a Mohs surgeon. At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, both Drs. James M Shehan and Mathew A. Davey are fellows of the American Society of Mohs Surgery. This society provides highly specialized on-going training, testing, and certification for dermatologists who perform Mohs micrographic surgery.  Drs. Davey and Shehan have a more than 20 years of combined experience in performing the Mohs technique in practice.  If you have additional questions regarding this Omaha’s Mohs surgical treatment for skin cancer, please contact our office.