Effective treatment for skin cancer available at Mohs Surgery Clinic in Westlake Village
Ask any dermatologist and they will tell you that Mohs surgery is one of the most effective and conservative ways to treat basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These skin cancers affect many adults in the United States and are often located in highly visible places on the body. The Mohs surgical technique removes the skin cancer in thin layers, repeating the process over and over until all the cancer cells are removed. At the office of Dr. Daphne I. Panagotacos, we have a skilled expert in our Mohs surgery clinic in Westlake Village who can provide our patients with the highest level of care. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and would like to learn more about your treatment options, including Mohs surgery, we invite you to call us at 805-379-DERM today.
The goal of Mohs surgery
The purpose of the Mohs technique for treating skin cancer is to surgically remove all the cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy tissue. Since we examine each layer during the procedure, we can determine with certainty when all the cancer cells are removed, which drastically reduces the need for additional surgical removal. With traditional excision, the removed sample of skin cancer plus a margin of healthy tissue is sent off to a laboratory for testing. If the pathology report indicates the presence of cancer cells in the margin, an additional procedure is required.
The Mohs procedure
Mohs surgery is highly successful and specialized technique for removing skin cancer that utilizes surgery and pathology during a single procedure. Once the first sample of tissue is removed, the tumor is frozen and then thin slices are placed onto a slide for examination under a microscope. Specialized stain is used to identify the cancer under microscope. We will repeat this process until there is no longer any visible signs of skin cancer.
On the day of surgery, we will prepare the area for the Mohs procedure. Patients should expect to be in the office for several hours, so we recommend bringing a book or a movie to watch. Patients are awake during the Mohs surgery; a local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area for comfort during the procedure.
To remove the tumor, we use a tumor map which helps identify areas where residual cancer cells may be located. During a Mohs procedure we always examine the tumor’s margin to ensure we capture all areas that may contain skin cancer.
Tissue will be removed in these margins in layers until there is no sign of skin cancer. If there is indication of cancer, additional layers will be removed until no cancer remains.
Benefits of Mohs
There are many advantages to choosing the Mohs procedure. The biggest one is its high cure rate. At our Mohs surgery clinic, we see great success in eliminating malignant tumors during the procedure, preventing the need for additional treatment
Another benefit is our ability to provide precise, immediate results as we examine the tumor margins under the microscope. The Mohs procedure is also considered one of the most conservative methods for skin cancer removal. It does not damage healthy tissue, which minimizes scarring. Mohs is recommended for skin cancers that are in highly visible spots such as the face. Additionally, Mohs is cost effective, because it is performed in office and does not require general anesthesia.
Candidates for Mohs surgery
Mohs surgery is recommended for many cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. It can be used to treat sensitive areas such as around the lips, noses, eyes, or ears. We also recommend Mohs for instances of recurrent cancer or rapidly growing cancerous tumors.
Recovery from Mohs
Following Mohs surgery, there are a few options for repairing the wound. Depending on how much tissue was removed, we may allow the wound to heal on its own or close it with sutures. In some cases, we may use a skin graft from somewhere else on the body to cover the wound.
If you are in the Westlake Village, CA area and would like to learn more about our Mohs skin cancer surgery clinic, please call us at 805-379-DERM.