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The Importance of Mohs Surgery

Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the scariest things to hear from your doctor. And while we all hope to never experience such a thing, it is incredibly important to stay educated on your treatment options. Mohs Micrographic Surgery is considered the gold standard treatment of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer to develop. Dr. Dieter Schmidt of North Sound Dermatology is one of only two fellowship-trained Mohs Micrographic surgeons that offers this procedure in the Mount Vernon and Anacortes areas.

What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an innovative treatment targeting many types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, it has the highest cure rate (99%) of any treatment for these forms of skin cancer. In addition, because the Mohs technique removes significantly less non-cancerous skin than traditional surgery techniques, it allows for less scarring and a more cosmetically acceptable repair. The American Academy of Dermatology considers Mohs surgery to be a first line of treatment when cancer is growing rapidly, recurrent, larger than 1.5 cm on the trunk arms, or legs, or in a cosmetically sensitive area where preserving normal skin is a priority, such as the face, hands, feet, and genitals.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery Basics

Of those individuals diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, many cases involve occurrences in the face. Leading surgeons have refined the Mohs Micrographic procedure to make it the most precise and advanced way to remove a tumor without damaging healthy tissue around the tumor, making it an ideal treatment for those experiencing skin cancer in cosmetically sensitive areas. During the procedure, Dr. Schmidt removes each layer of skin and microscopically examines it until reaching clear margins, or cancer-free, healthy tissues. A fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, Dr. Schmidt is qualified to interpret skin pathology and perform facial reconstruction after cancer has been removed.

What are the Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Advantages of the procedure include:

  • The highest cure rate for the most common forms of skin cancer
  • The greatest possible amount of non-cancerous tissue is saved using this technique, reducing scarring
  • Pathologic evaluation of 100% of the surgical margin at time of surgery ensures the highest cure rate of any type of skin cancer treatment

If you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer and are considering Mohs Surgery for treatment, contact North Sound Dermatology with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We are proud to serve the Mount Vernon and Anacortes areas.