What is Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery?

Mohs surgery is considered to be the most effective technique for treating basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer.  It also offers the highest cure rate while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs skin cancer surgery is done in stages.

What to Expect from Treatment?

Mohs skin cancer surgery is performed in layers. Layers of the skin will be removed with a scalpel and each layer will be examined under a microscope. To start removing layers, a local anesthetic will be injected, and a scalpel will be used to remove a thin layer of visible cancerous tissue. This tissue will then be sent to an onsite lab to be analyzed to determine the extent of the skin cancer. Your surgeon will then let you know whether another layer of tissue needs to be removed. This entire process is repeated until there are no more cancer cells present.

Once the site is cleared of all cancer cells, the wound may be closed with stitches, depending on its size and location. In the case that a large wound is present, our dermatologists may work with other specialists such as a plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, or hand surgeon to repair the wound.


Following Mohs skin cancer surgery, your dermatologist will provide you with post-op instructions to help ensure a quick and easy recovery. Strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 24-48 hours. Any discomfort that occurs can be lessened with cold compresses, over-the-counter pain medications, and rest.

If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, contact our office today to schedule your Mohs skin cancer surgery consultation. We will work with you to create a treatment plan to help you achieve healthy skin.