When you’re diagnosed with skin cancer, the very best outcome is achieved with Mohs surgery, which produces the highest cure rate and optimal cosmetic results. Kenneth Bielinski, MD established one of the first office-based Mohs surgical facilities in the Chicagoland area and now performs the procedure in the cutting-edge center at SkinMD. If you have skin cancer and would like to learn more about Mohs surgery, book an appointment online or call one of the offices in Chicago, Evergreen Park, Orland Park, or Skokie, Illinois.
Mohs Surgery Q & A
What Skin Cancers are Treated with Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is primarily used to treat the two most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It’s also used for some cases of melanoma and is on the road to becoming an option for all melanoma cases.
Dr. Bielinski also recommends Mohs surgery for recurrent skin cancers and cancers in visible areas where you want to preserve healthy tissue, such as your nose, lips, chin, ears, and hands.
How Does Mohs Surgery Differ from Standard Excision?
During a standard skin cancer excision, your surgeon cuts away the visible lesion, together with a border of healthy tissue surrounding the lesion. When the procedure is over, the specimen is sent to the lab while you go home and wait to see if they removed all the cancer.
During the Mohs procedure, Dr. Bielinski maps and then removes the visible cancer. He takes the specimen to their on-site, state-of-the-art processing lab, and slices the tissue into thin layers.
Dr. Bielinski carefully examines each layer under the microscope. If cancer cells are found, he removes another thin layer of tissue from the tumor site. Since the lesion was mapped, Dr. Bielinski can target the precise spot where tissue should be removed.
Every time a layer is removed from the tumor site, it’s examined in the lab. This stepwise process proceeds until the tissue sample is free of cancer cells. At every step, more healthy tissue is preserved by only removing skin in the location where additional cancer cells were found — a very precise technique that’s only possible with Mohs surgery.
How Long is a Mohs Surgical Procedure?
The length of your Mohs procedure depends on the number and size of tumors, as well as how many times Dr. Bielinski must remove and examine tissue. In most cases, it takes several hours or longer if you have reconstructive surgery right after your cancer is removed.
Although Mohs surgery is longer than a standard one-time excision, by the time you go home, you know you’re clear of cancer. Throughout your time in the office, you can count on Dr. Bielinski and the team at SkinMD to help you feel comfortable and relaxed.
What is the Skin Cancer Cure Rate for Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is the most effective skin cancer treatment available. The five-year cure rate for patients whose skin cancer was removed using a Mohs procedure is:
- 99% for primary basal cell carcinoma
- 92-99% for primary squamous cell carcinoma
- 90-94% for recurrent skin cancers
The great advantage of Mohs surgery is that Dr. Bielinski can remove all cancer cells while sparing the maximum amount of healthy tissue.
If you have skin cancer and want to see if you’re a good candidate for Mohs surgery, call SkinMD or book an appointment online.