Cal Coast Dermatology diagnose and treat a wide-variety of skin cancers and benign tumors. We offer a full range of surgical dermatologic services, including Mohs micrographic surgery, surgical excision and electrodesiccation and curettage.
WHAT IS MOHS SURGERY?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a very effective treatment for many types of skin cancers. It has a high cure rate that removes only the skin with cancer cells while avoiding removal of adjacent healthy skin as much as possible.
Developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs, it is microscopically controlled surgery that involves removal of the skin cancer in stages. Please refer to "What is the Mohs Surgery Technique" section below for more detailed information.
A fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, such as Dr. Martin, has extensive training in surgery, pathology and reconstructive surgery.
WHEN IS MOHS SURGERY NEEDED?
Mohs micrographic surgery is the gold standard of treatment for many types of skin cancer on the face, scalp, neck, hands, feet, and genitals; large tumors on any other area of the body; and for more aggressive subtypes of various skin cancers . Additionally, Mohs may be used for less common skin cancers, recurrent tumors, patients with compromised or decreased immune systems, or if the edges of the tumor cannot be clearly defined or identified.
WHAT IS THE MOHS SURGERY TECHNIQUE?
Mohs surgery involves surgical removal of the visible tumor, processing the removed tissue and examining it under the microscope to identify any remaining tumor. If tumor is identified during the microscopic examination then more tissue is removed and the process is repeated until no more skin cancer is identified. Once the site is cancer free, Dr. Martin discusses the following options for the post-surgical site:
(1) the wound heals on its own if small and simple (2) the wound is closed in a straight line using stitches (3) the wound requires a skin graft or flap (4) the wound is very large and may require referral to a surgeon with specific expertise in the particular area.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE TREATED BY A BOARD-CERTIFIED FELLOWSHIP-TRAINED MOHS SURGEON?
Mohs micrographic surgery has set a new standard in skin cancer treatment. An increasing number of physicians are performing Mohs surgery. However, not all Mohs surgeons receive the same level of training, and many have not completed additional training after completion of a Dermatology residency.
A board-certified fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon has:
Completed a fellowship approved by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
Received subspecialty board certification by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD).
This additional training and certification is crucial in choosing a Mohs surgeon to ensure excellent experience removing tumors in difficult locations, performing complex wound reconstruction, and successfully dealing with potential complications.