Every year, millions of individuals in the United States are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer. In many cases, these diagnoses involve sensitive areas such as the face, which adds to the emotional weight of the diagnosis. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, then you may be seeking a surgical procedure that can help. At North Sound Dermatology, we are proud to offer Mohs micrographic surgery to address your needs. Mike Wentzell, MD, is an internationally renowned, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon who sees patients in our Smokey Point, Mill Creek and Anacortes offices.
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a procedure that has a 99% cure rate for individuals with the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. However, the surgery is also regarded as the most effective method to treat a variety of other skin cancers.
During the surgery, each layer of cancerous skin is carefully removed and examined until the doctor reaches clear margins—healthy tissues that are free from cancer.
Who Can Benefit from Mohs Surgery?
There are a variety of individuals who can benefit from Mohs surgery. The procedure is especially recommended for the following situations:
- If the cancer is located in an area with aesthetic significance, such as the face.
- If the cancer is considered more aggressive and therefore more likely to return.
- If the cancer is in an area where it is more common to see a recurrence. This includes the eyelids, lips, nose and ears.
- If the cancer has grown to a size larger than 1.5 cm and is located on the torso, legs or arms.
- If the cancer is located on the face, hands, feet, genitals, shins or any other location where preserving a high quantity of normal skin is especially important.
- If the cancer remains after an excision.
- If the cancer has returned.
- If the cancer is growing at a fast rate.
However, to understand if this procedure will suit your specific needs, it is necessary to have a consultation with a trusted surgeon.
Why Choose a Fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon
An increasing number of physicians are performing Mohs surgery, which is now widely accepted as the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer. However, not all Mohs surgeons receive the same level of training. When it comes to your skin cancer treatment, you deserve no less than the best. Three of our physicians have achieved the highest degree of Mohs surgery qualification by completing an American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) approved fellowship. ACMS approved fellowship training programs are significantly more rigorous than other Mohs programs. Fellows-in-training undergo months of extensive, hands-on direction from highly qualified instructors. By choosing a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, you can be assured that you will receive the highest standard of quality and competency, as well as an optimal outcome.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
In many cases, patients return to work or school the day after their surgery, however, heavy lifting should be avoided. We recommend patients set aside time to get as much rest as possible after their Mohs surgery. Typically, our patients do not report much pain or sensitivity during recovery. However, stitches will need to be removed 4 to 14 days after the procedure.
Let North Sound Dermatology Answer Your Questions
If you are seeking an experienced and trusted team to handle your Mohs micrographic surgery, North Sound Dermatology can help. We have several fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeons on our team including Dr. Wentzell, who was bestowed the title of “Most Innovative Mohs Surgeon in North America” by the American College of Mohs Surgery. We have been assisting patients in Anacortes, Smokey Point, Mill Creek and nearby communities with Mohs surgeries for years. This means you can rest assured that you will be in good hands. So, if you have questions or are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact one of our offices today.