Mohs surgery is a surgical technique used for the treatment of certain skin cancers. During the procedure, thin layers of skin tissue are removed and examined under a microscope. This is done layer-by-layer until only healthy tissue remains. This procedure spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue, leaves minimal scarring, and makes the surgical defect as small as possible. Mohs surgery was developed by Dr Frederic E Mohs in the late 1930s and is now the treatment of choice for basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin.
Pariser Dermatology Specialists, LTD. is proud to have two board-certified Mohs surgeons: Dr. Larry Chang and Dr. James Bota. Dr. Chang performs Mohs surgery and other surgery on the skin at our Norfolk and Newport News offices. Dr. Bota sees patients in our Williamsburg and Suffolk locations. If you are referred to either Dr. Chang or Dr. Bota by another dermatologist, you will initially be scheduled for a consultation which will help determine the best treatment plan for you. If your surgery does not require the Mohs surgical technique, we might be able to perform your surgery the same day as your consultation. If our mohs surgeon determines that the Mohs technique is the best approach, the procedure will be scheduled for another day.
Mohs surgery involves a specific sequence of surgery and pathological investigation. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the visible portion of the cancer and a temporary bandage will be placed on your incision. The tissue is taken to the laboratory for analysis and is processed by a histotechnologist. If cancer cells are found, another layer of cancerous tissue will be precisely removed. By using this technique, only areas with cancer cells are sequentially removed and normal healthy tissue is preserved. The removal process will continue layer by layer until microscopically there is no longer any evidence of cancer remaining in the surgical site. Depending on the size of the resulting wound it may be left to heal on its own, closed with stitches, or reconstructed by a local plastic surgeon.
Before a Mohs procedure, a patient might be advised to stop taking certain medications. It is not possible to predict how long a Mohs surgery will take, so patients must be prepared to be at the office for several hours. We advise that patients wear comfortable clothing and bring something to help pass the time. Pariser Dermatology Specialists, LTD. makes every effort to make patients as comfortable as possible during Mohs procedures.