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Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is a specialized, highly effective technique for the removal of skin cancer. It was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs and has since evolved into the gold standard treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers, especially those that are located on cosmetically or functionally important areas of the body or have a high risk of recurrence.

Dr. Mohs realized that the outward manifestation of skin cancer is just the “tip of the iceberg”. The cancer grows into the skin like the roots of a tree and the extent of the cancer is only visible with microscopic analysis. Mohs surgery gets to and removes the roots of nonmelanoma skin cancers but does so layer by layer, minimizing the amount of tissue that needs to be removed.

Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers, allowing 100% histologic margin evaluation and the highest certainty that all the cancer is gone. It also produces the smallest defect, resulting in smaller scars and better cosmetic outcomes. It is usually recommended for areas that are cosmetically sensitive such as the face, ears, nose, eyelids, fingers, toes and genitals to preserve healthy tissues for the best aesthetic and functional outcomes

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized type of surgery that is used to treat nonmelanoma skin cancer, most commonly, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. It is a highly precise and effective treatment option that can remove cancerous growths while minimizing the removal of healthy tissue. Reported five-year cure rates of greater than 98% for common nonmelanoma skin cancers. Only a dermatologist specially trained in Mohs surgery, such as Dr. Shagalov, can perform the procedure because they must act as both surgeon and pathologist.

In addition to treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive areas, Mohs surgery may be recommended when:

  • the tumor is large and has indistinct margins
  • there is a high risk of recurrence
  • to remove a recurrent tumor
  • the tumor is near scar tissue
  • when the tumor is aggressive and fast growing
  • when the patient is immunosuppressed

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in Doctor Shagalov’s office under local anesthetic. During Mohs surgery, she removes thin layers of cancerous tissue and examines each layer under a microscope to ensure that all of the cancerous cells have been removed. This process is repeated until the tissue is cancer-free. Once clear, Dr Shagalov will repair the wound with an incredibly precise surgical technique to produce the most cosmetically acceptable outcome. Scars improve with time. Complete healing can take 3-12 months.

Mohs micrographic surgery is a state-of-the-art treatment for skin cancer that offers several advantages over traditional methods.

Mohs surgery offers a number of advantages over traditional surgery for skin cancer, including:

  • Mohs surgery allows the surgeon to see the exact margins of the cancerous tissue, which helps to ensure that all of the cancerous cells are removed.
  • It offers the greatest accuracy for removing the entire tumor including microscopic extensions.
  • The accuracy of this method can remove the need for additional treatments or surgeries down the road.
  • Mohs has an excellent cure rate of 98 percent or greater.
  • It preserves the most normal healthy tissue which makes it the right choice for areas where cosmetic appearance and function are important.
  • Mohs surgery is an incredibly precise technique that removes only the affected tissue and spares as much of the healthy skin as possible. This helps minimize any potential scarring and allows Dr. Shagalov to cosmetically reconstruct any defect.
  • Mohs surgery can be completed in a single day, allowing for quick and effective treatment for skin cancers.

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is important to discuss all your treatment options with Dr. Shagalov to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Dr. Devorah Shagalov is uniquely qualified to perform Mohs surgery as a board-certified dermatologist and board-certified Mohs surgeon who is also dual fellowship-trained as a Mohs surgeon and cosmetic dermatologist. At Biscayne Dermatology, we are aware that Mohs surgery can be a scary and intimidating process. Therefore, tremendous care is taken to ensure your comfort and ease throughout the entire process. Dr. Shagalov treats every patient like family and will support you not only through the cancer removal and reconstruction process, but even after until you are comfortable and satisfied with the cosmetic results. Contact her office to schedule a consultation. You will always be treated with the highest standard of care and respect in her state-of-the-art offices. Biscayne Dermatology is located in Midtown Miami on the border of Edgewater and Wynwood a few blocks from the Design District, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami.

At a Glance

Dr. Devorah Shagalov

  • Double Board-Certified Dermatologist
  • Fellowship-Trained Mohs Micrographic Surgeon
  • Recipient of numerous dermatology awards
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