Mohs Micrographic Surgery (MMS) is the optimal technique for many skin cancers, particularly those on the face, ears and scalp. This technique offers the highest cure rate with the smallest surgical defect and resultant scar. Most Family Doctor’s are not familiar with this technique as there are only about two dozen Mohs Micrographic Surgeons in Canada. In Mohs surgery, the Dermatologist performs the simultaneous roles of skin cancer surgery and diagnostic skin pathology.

The Mohs procedure involves the surgical removal of the visible portion of the skin cancer, along with a layer of the surrounding normal skin. This tissue is then divided into sections and colour-coded, while corresponding reference marks are made on the patient to indicate the source from which each section was taken. The Dermatologist then maps out the surgical site and the tissue is processed and examined under a microscope. The edges of each section are then examined microscopically for evidence of remaining cancer cells. If any cancer remains, this tissue is removed. This process is repeated until no further evidence of cancer remains at the surgical site. Once the cancer has been definitively removed, the area is then closed with sutures. Thus, the appeal of the procedure is that all of the cancerous tissue is removed before the area is stitched.

If you would like to know if Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a suitable option for you, acquire a referral from your doctor.