Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery & Reconstruction
Leading Mohs Surgeon in Los Angeles for Skin Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction at our Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks and Westlake dermatology practices.
The occurrence of skin cancer has been a growing problem in the United States, especially in states like California, where sunny days are much more prevalent and people often spend their weekends at the beach. Unfortunately, skin cancer is a disease that can be deadly if not treated before it begins to invade surrounding tissues or metastasize to organs throughout the body.
For the past few decades, health experts have emphasized how important it is for individuals to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun. However, increased awareness unfortunately has not eliminated skin cancer altogether, and an estimated 9,000 – 10,000 people die each year from this disease. The most unfortunate part; cancer of the skin has very high cure rates when detected early, but Americans just don’t give this problem the attention it deserves, don’t conduct self examinations, and don’t schedule skin exams on a regular basis.
At American Skin Institute we’ve worked very hard to increase patient awareness of the deadly risks of this cancer, and over the years, have been able to help countless patients by treating skin cancer and helping them heal. One of our most preferred techniques is Mohs skin surgery, a treatment that provides very high cure rates and preserves more of the patient’s healthy tissue at the treatment site.
Skin Cancer Treatment: Mohs Micrographic Surgery
The two types of skin cancer most often referred by dermatologists for surgical removal are Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma. These cancers are rarely fatal if caught early, but still pose a significant danger of disfigurement, as both types of these lesions may have roots extending into the surrounding tissue. If these roots are not completely removed through surgery, the cancer cells are likely to form a new lesion and continue to grow, eventually causing significant loss of healthy tissue in the area, and requiring extensive surgery.
A worse scenario is the development of Melanoma. This cancer has very high mortality rates if left untreated or is discovered too late. For example, even with early discovery there is an expected 2% mortality rate, which makes it vital to use the most effective procedures to remove the cancer and keep it from returning.
Mohs surgery was developed specifically to remove skin cancer as completely as possible, and can achieve full cancer cell removal with great precision. This surgical technique was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederick Mohs, and has withstood the test of time through high cure rates that preserve the most amount of healthy tissue while ensuring the tumor and its roots are removed.
How Mohs Surgery Works
Skin cancer removal using the Mohs surgery technique is done in stages, beginning with the tumor and a minimal amount of surrounding tissue being excised from the skin. Once this initial tissue has been removed, it is sliced into tiny pieces and is reviewed by the surgeon using a microscope to see if any cancer tentacles are present on the perimeter. If any cancer tentacles are still present, then the surgeon will remove more tissue and examine it again. This process will continue until your American Skin Institute surgeon sees no more cancer cells remaining in the removed tissue.
The beauty of the Mohs surgery technique is that it examines the entire three-dimensional perimeter; all of the tissue around and directly underneath the tumor. Further, if cancer is identified in this perimeter, the surgeon knows exactly where to remove more tissue, because your skin will be mapped and marked before the procedure. This means that your American Skin Institute Mohs surgeon won’t continue to cut around the entire perimeter, but only where cancer tentacles are still present.
Benefits of Mohs Surgery
One of the big advantages of Mohs surgery is that it examines the entire perimeter and leaves nothing to chance. This is very different from regular skin cancer excision, where the tissue is removed, and then sent off to a pathologist for evaluation. Unfortunately, the pathologist only looks at about 1% of the tumor perimeter, and if he/she finds no cancer cells present, assumes that the remaining perimeter is also clean. However, this type of evaluation is not always accurate, and leads to higher rates of cancer recurrence. This is the reason why American Skin Institute doctors use Mohs surgery instead; because it is much more accurate and can cure skin cancer with rates as high as 98%.
Reconstruction after Skin Cancer Surgery
To ensure the smallest possible scar, you American Skin Institute surgeon will carefully close the incision with a variety of techniques after Mohs surgery is complete. Your surgeon will make a detailed examination of the final wound and surrounding tissues and make the closure in a way that minimizes the final scar and speeds up healing times. In many cases, the reconstruction after Mohs surgery is so effective that the site of the surgery is nearly invisible after 12-24 months.
If you’d like to learn more about how American Skin Institute uses Mohs surgery to heal patients, or would like to set up a consultation, please fill out the Contact Form below, or give us a call!
At American Skin Institute of Los Angeles, we're proud to offer Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery & Reconstruction to the Los Angeles area and across Southern California. With three locations in Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills, and Westlake Village, we are easily accessible to residents throughout the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas for Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery & Reconstruction, including: Agoura, Brentwood, Burbank, Calabasas, Camarillo, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Mission Hills, Moorpark, North Hollywood, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Valley Glen, Westwood, Woodland Hills