Why Opt for MOHS Surgery or Skin Cancer Care?

A surgery that typically carries the highest possible cure rate.

The most common type of cancer in the world, skin cancer impacts one in five Americans at some point during their lives. Fortunately, skin cancer is often easy to treat if caught early by removing cancerous cells. One of the most common and effective methods for this is the MOHS technique, developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs.

MOHS surgery preserves as much healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous growth as possible. As each layer of the skin is removed in the area of the tumor, a board-certified pathologist maps each layer to ensure skin is cleared of cancer cells, while your facial plastic surgeon reconstructs the area to maintain your aesthetic appearance. All procedures are performed by Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, or Renata Khelemsky, MD.

Listen as Dr. Clevens explains MOHS surgery.

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Do I Need MOHS Surgery or Skin Cancer Care?

Treat your skin cancer early.

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, then you may be a good candidate for MOHS surgery. Often, MOHS surgery is used to remove skin cancer growths on the face, head, and neck, though the treatment can be appropriate for other areas of the body, too. 

The best way to know if MOHS surgery is the best treatment for your diagnosis is to meet with our experts. Your doctor will evaluate your skin and discuss treatment options that may be most effective for you.

Listen as Dr. Clevens shares the typical candidates for MOHS surgery.

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Benefits of MOHS Surgery and Skin Cancer Care

Have peace of mind while maintaining your appearance. 

Unlike other surgical skin cancer treatments, MOHS surgery ensures each layer of skin is examined by a board-certified pathologist as your procedure happens. This enables security in the definitive treatment of your skin cancer and allows your surgeon to only take out as much tissue as necessary.

When you choose to have your MOHS surgery at Clevens Face and Body Specialists, you’re putting your face in the hands of the best. Dr. Clevens and Dr. Khelemsky are experts in reconstructive techniques and dedicated to giving you the best cosmetic results, while reducing chances for tumor recurrence in the same area. 

Hear Dr. Clevens explain how you can minimize the impact of MOHS surgery.

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MOHS Surgery and Skin Cancer Care Procedure

Highest degree of removal, highest degree of certainty.

Though MOHS surgery does not require general anesthesia, many patients opt for an oral sedation and local anesthesia. Your doctor works alongside a dermatopathologist, a board-certified physician specially trained in skin pathology, who will look at each layer of skin under a microscope. After the first layer around the lesion is removed and analyzed, the process continues until all cancerous tissue is removed.

Since analysis is performed during the procedure, reconstruction follows as part of the same surgery. As facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Clevens and Dr. Khelemsky apply their expertise in repairing the area from which skin was removed. Most surgeries take less than one hour.

Listen as Dr. Clevens explains why his approach to MOHS surgery is unique.

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MOHS Surgery and Skin Cancer Care Recovery

An outpatient procedure with a short recovery.

The recovery for MOHS surgery depends on the size of the lesion and the extent of reconstruction. For most patients, recovery is relatively quick and easy. Your doctor will prescribe medication to manage any discomfort and instruct you on how to care for your skin to ensure the best recovery and results possible. Fullness may last several days, so recovery requires patience and adherence to the post-surgery treatment plan.

Hear Dr. Clevens explain the risks of MOHS surgery.

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Before and After Photos

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary

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MOHS Surgery FAQs

Will cancerous tumors ever come back after MOHS surgery?

While it’s always possible skin cancer will reoccur following surgical treatment, it is very unlikely with MOHS surgery. MOHS surgery aims to ensure that all skin cancer cells are removed and typically carries a 97-99% cure rate although this may vary from individual to individual and depends in part upon the type of skin cancer.  The cure rate with MOHS surgery compares favorably with radiation therapy and conventional surgical excision, each of which offers a 70-80% cure rate.

Why does such a large amount of tissue need to be removed?

While it may seem like a lot of tissue is removed during a MOHS procedure, the truth is that the method actually minimizes the damage to the area by not removing more than is necessary. A small visible growth may be influenced by a large number of cancerous cells underneath the skin, which necessitates the removal of more tissue. Your surgeon will remove enough tissue to ensure all of the cancerous cells are removed but will try to minimize the damage to the area.

Who should perform my MOHS surgery?

It is best to choose a surgeon who has experience in both the MOHS technique and aesthetic surgery to help improve the cosmetic outcome after the procedure. This is especially important when the cancerous cells have caused tumors in the facial skin.

Will there be any scarring from the MOHS procedure?

All surgery produces some scarring, but the MOHS technique is used to minimize damage and often results in a very good cosmetic outcome.

Will I need more than one procedure?

One of the biggest benefits of MOHS treatment is that analysis is performed during the procedure so the surgeon can ensure all the cancer cells are removed. Because of this, both the surgery and the reconstruction can be done at once in most cases, eliminating the need for a waiting period or additional procedures. In more complicated cases or where critical facial regions are involved, it is often better to stage the MOHS surgery and reconstruction into two separate procedures.

What are the risks of MOHS?

As with any surgery, there are some risks involved with MOHS, but they are very minor. Bleeding, infection, and scarring can occur, but this is very rare. MOHS is a very safe surgery and is typically necessary for ensuring skin cancer does not cause disfigurement.

Are there other options for surgery?

Yes, there are other surgeries that are often used to treat skin cancer. MOHS surgery offers superior cure rates and better cosmetic results than either radiation therapy or conventional surgical excision.

Are there some forms of cancer that cannot be treated with MOHS?

Some aggressive forms of skin cancer require other treatment plans, which may not involve MOHS surgery.

How long does the MOHS procedure take?

The length of the surgery will depend heavily on the tumor. However, most MOHS surgeries take about less than an hour, on average.

What preparations should I make for my surgery?

As with any surgery, there are some risk factors you should account for when preparing for your procedure. You should stop smoking before and after your treatment, as this can cause a host of complications, including poor healing. Your surgeon may also instruct you to stop using certain supplements before your procedure.

Hear from one of our skincare patients.

“They go above and beyond to make sure that none of it is stressful. I am happy with my results so far. I had a skin graft but girlfriends and even family say, ‘Really, where?’”

–sharson17, review on RealSelf

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We’re Excited to Help You Look and Feel Your Best

Schedule a consultation to explore treatment options for your skin cancer.

To determine if MOHS surgery or other skin cancer care treatment is best for you, schedule a consultation with our team. Consultations typically last 60 to 90 minutes and give your doctor a chance to listen to your concerns, evaluate your skin, discuss possible treatment plans, and answer all of your questions. Our goal is for you to leave your consultation feeling confident in your options.

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