What is Mohs Surgery?
Our eyes are vital to our survival, and the skin of the cheek, brow, and eyelids not only protect the eyes, but are important for communication and emotion. These areas are visible to those around us and can’t be hidden under a shirt or pair of pants. So, to get the best possible results when removing skin cancer, it is important to have experts in their field to perform the surgery. Skin cancer removal is performed by a specialist Mohs surgeon, whilst repair is carried out by a specialist Oculoplastic surgeon trained in plastic surgery of the eyes and face.
Whilst the word cancer is scary, between the 2 surgeons, we aim to provide a smooth transition from diagnosis to cure, using a logical path.
- Confirm diagnosis
- Remove and reconstruct
- Wound management
A skin cancer is not always obvious to the naked eye, even to a professional, and if missed, will continue to grow. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a biopsy, which is the removal of a portion of skin for examination under a microscope. This can be done during consultation and the result is usually available after a few days. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, attention turns to removal.
Remove and reconstruct
Removal begins with Mohs surgery. First the visible tumour is mapped into zones and removed. Next, edges that could harbor invisible cells are removed and placed on glass slides to be carefully examined for remaining cancer cells in each zone by the Mohs surgeon. If cancer remains, further skin tissue only in the affected zone is removed, preserving normal tissue. The process is repeated (called stages) in affected zones, until no cancer cells are visible, at which point the tumour is “cleared”. After the skin cancer is removed, attention then turns to restoration of function and appearance. This is where Dr Maloof steps in.