Patients find Mohs surgery for skin cancer in Westlake Village, CA
Visible and treatable when caught early, skin cancer affects more than 3.3 million Americans each year. As a skilled dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs surgeon, Dr. Panagotacos performs Mohs surgery for skin cancer patients in her Westlake Village, CA office.
What is Mohs surgery?
In 1938 Frederic E. Mohs developed Mohs surgery, a specially designed procedure to treat skin cancer. A microscopically controlled procedure, layers of tissue are removed one-at-a-time and examined individually to search for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, another layer of tissue is removed and inspected. The process continues until the specimen is clear and no cancer is detected. This procedure allows the surgeon to only remove the necessary amount of skin tissue.
Mohs surgery is used on areas of the body where it is crucial to preserve tissue. This includes the face, hands, feet, or genitals. With a high cure rate, Mohs surgery is a successful skin cancer treatment.
The surgical process
Performed under local anesthesia, Mohs surgery involves four steps – removal, mapping of the tissue, microscopic analysis, and reconstruction if needed. The surgeon uses a small scalpel to remove the visible part of the cancer with minimal margins. General excisions remove cancers with 4 to 6 mm margins. Mohs surgery differs by using 1 to 1.5mm margins so less excess skin tissue is removed. Each layer of tissue is removed and then examined by the surgeon who acts as the pathologist. The first three steps are repeated as necessary until the cells are clear. At that point the . wound is closed or reconstruction is performed.
Dr. Panagotacos is fellowship trained in Mohs surgery and is able to perform the entire procedure, including the reconstruction, in her Westgate Village office. Other dermatologists often send their skin cancer patients here for the specialized Mohs procedure.
To learn more about Mohs surgery or your treatment options for skin cancer, contact our office today to schedule your appointment. 805-379-3376