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Mohs Surgery

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a precise surgical technique used to remove skin cancer. The procedure involves removing thin layers of skin tissue and examining them under a microscope to ensure that all cancerous cells have been removed. The process is repeated layer by layer until no more cancerous cells are detected. Mohs surgery is typically used to remove skin cancers that have a high risk of recurrence or those located in areas where preservation of healthy tissue is crucial, such as the face or hands. This surgical technique is known for its high cure rates, preservation of healthy tissue and cosmetic outcomes, making it a popular choice for treating skin cancer.

Why should I have Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is recommended for patients with skin cancer that has a high risk of recurrence or is located in an area where preservation of healthy tissue is crucial. This technique is particularly useful for skin cancers that are difficult to remove completely with other surgical methods or that have previously recurred after treatment. Mohs surgery has a high cure rate and a low risk of complications, making it a safe and effective treatment option for skin cancer. Additionally, because Mohs surgery involves the removal of only small amounts of tissue at a time, it allows for the preservation of as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs surgery specialists are trained to minimise scarring and maintain the natural appearance of the skin and can use these techniques to achieve the best cosmetic outcomes.

Who can perform Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a specialised surgical technique that requires highly specialised training and can only be performed by a Mohs Surgery Specialist. Specifically, a Mohs Surgery Speciliast is a dermatologist who has completed additional years of training in Mohs surgery and the most advanced skin surgery techniques. Mohs Surgery Specialists are experts in the removal of skin cancer and the preservation of healthy tissue, and are trained to have the highest level of precision during the procedure. Furthermore, since all Mohs Surgery Specialists are also fully trained Dermatologists, it means that they are best placed to discuss the full range of treatment options, including determining when surgery is not in fact the best option. When diagnosed with a skin cancer, it's important to choose a qualified Dermatologist or Mohs surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome. Click here to make an appointment to see Dr Ludi Ge.

My Approach

What to expect on the day

Dr Ludi Ge performs Mohs Surgery at Pennant Hills Day Surgery - a state of the art facility with a purpose built Mohs unit. Click here to learn more about how to make an appointment

On the day of the Mohs surgery procedure, patients will typically arrive at the clinic or hospital early in the morning. It is recommended that patients wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and bring a book or other entertainment to pass the time, as the procedure may take several hours. Before the surgery, the Mohs Surgery Specialist will explain the procedure and answer any questions the patient may have. They will also take photographs of the area to be treated for documentation purposes.

Mohs surgery procedure is usually performed using local anaesthetic to numb the area to be treated, meaning there is no need for an unnecessary or risky general anaesthetic. The local anaesthetic injection may sting for a few seconds, but the numbing effect will quickly take hold, and the patient should not feel any pain during the procedure. Once the area is numb, the Mohs Surgery Specialist will remove the skin cancer.

Once the main skin cancer is removed, the Mohs Surgery Specialist removes thin layers of skin tissue from around the affected area. Each layer is examined under a microscope to check for cancerous cells. This process is repeated several times until no more cancerous cells are detected. The number of layers required to remove all cancerous cells will depend on the size and depth of the tumor, and the technique to map the cancerous tissue. Typically, each layer of skin tissue removal and examination takes around an hour to complete, and the entire process can take several hours to complete.

While the skin tissue samples are being processed and examined, the patient will have to wait in a comfortable waiting area. This waiting period can vary in length, depending on the number of layers of skin tissue that need to be examined. The patient should be prepared to wait for several hours, and it is recommended to bring a book, music, or other forms of entertainment to pass the time.

Once all cancerous cells have been removed, the Mohs Surgery Specialist will repair the wound, using advanced repair techniques including flaps and grafts. Multiple layers of sutures (stitches) and other techniques will be used to promote healing and minimise scarring. 

The follow up process for Mohs surgery is similar to that of a simple skin cancer surgery, where sutures are removed after a week or two. 

Overall, the Mohs surgery process is an effective method for removing skin cancer, and although the process can be time-consuming, it allows for the highest level of precision in removing cancerous tissue while preserving healthy tissue.

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