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Mohs micrographic surgery is the most precise method of skin cancer removal available. It offers the highest potential for recovery – up to 95% – even when other forms of treatment have failed. Mohs surgery minimizes the chance of regrowth and reduces the potential for scarring or disfigurement.
Both Dr. Elizabeth Callahan and Dr. William Adams are rare fellowship-trained Mohs skin cancer surgeons and are accredited by the American College of Mohs Surgery. Only 117 dermatologists in the entire state of Florida have this accreditation. Together, Dr. Callahan and Dr. Adams have performed more than 20,000 Mohs skin cancer surgeries. SkinSmart is the ONLY practice from Tampa to Port Charlotte with two fellowship-trained Mohs skin cancer surgeons on staff. Read about why you should only choose a fellowship-trained skin cancer surgeon to remove your skin cancer here.
About Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is an advanced treatment for skin cancer that is typically reserved for cancerous lesions on the face and neck. This procedure allows dermatologists to see beyond the visible disease and to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. This procedure is most often used in treating two of the most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
With Mohs surgery, the physician serves as pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. The procedure relies on the accuracy of a microscope to trace and ensure removal of skin cancer down to its roots. The surgeon removes thin sections of the skin surrounding the cancerous or precancerous lesion. This tissue is immediately examined under a microscope. If evidence of cancer is found, another thin section is removed, continuing until the margins of the area are free of suspicious cells.
Advantages of Mohs Surgery
Using the Mohs surgery technique ensures that all cancerous and diseased tissue is completely removed while the maximum amount of healthy tissue is preserved. Because Mohs surgery has the lowest recurrence rate of malignancies, it is the preferred technique for removal of aggressive or recurrent carcinomas. It also has the least effect on your appearance. As dermatologic surgeons, Dr. Callahan and Dr. Adams can give you the best possible aesthetic outcome. Lesions can typically be removed without a conspicuous scar, making Mohs surgery the treatment of choice when a lesion is prominently placed.
Your Mohs Consultation
If you are being referred to SkinSmart Dermatology for Mohs surgery as a new patient, a consultation is recommended. During this appointment, we will review your medical history and all pathology reports, perform a detailed examination of your skin, take photographs and answer any and all questions that you or your family members may have regarding your diagnosis and the planned procedure.
Your Mohs surgery will be scheduled before you leave the office. Mohs surgery appointments are generally scheduled to start in the early morning, allowing for the completion of several surgical stages throughout the day (if necessary).
The Day of Surgery
On your surgery day, we ask that you do not make any other appointments. Because of the detailed nature of the procedure, Mohs surgery can take up the better part of the day. On occasion, you may need to return to SkinSmart Dermatology the next day. You are to eat your normal meals and take all of your normal medications. You do not need to fast or discontinue the use of blood thinners unless otherwise instructed.
In the office, the surgical site will be inspected once again. The skin cancer area will be re-identified, photographed and anesthetized with local anesthetic. First, the cancer obvious to the naked eye will be removed, along with a thin layer of skin from around the site. The tissue specimen is then immediately processed in our on-site Mohs laboratory. Patients are bandaged and permitted to relax in our private, comfortable Mohs lounge during this process.
We will microscopically examine the specimen to identify and map any remaining cancer. Patients with persistent cancer will have the procedure repeated, as required, and another layer is excised until the cancer is completely removed. The area where the cancer was removed is then repaired to give the best cosmetic and functional outcome. Every effort is made to keep our patients comfortable, so repairs will either be on the same day or early the following day. In some cases, the patient is referred to a plastic or ocular surgeon for final wound repair. In each case, we will advise the patient on the best option.
Points To Remember:
- Mohs surgery is a complex procedure, so you could be in our office for several hours, or in some cases, most of the day.
- Patients can relax in our comfortable, private Mohs lounge within our SkinSmart Dermatology office.
- We recommend that you bring a sweater, a good book, ereader, tablet or your laptop computer, as we offer Wi-Fi Internet service.
- We offer magazines and a handheld DVD player with headsets and interesting videos.
- At our coffee bar, you can enjoy a variety of coffee and teas, including Vermont Green Mountain blend, as well as bottled water and snacks.
- Please bring a light lunch in case you stay with us, or you can have your lunch delivered to the SkinSmart Dermatology offices. We also have a small refrigerator available. In addition, many restaurants and fast-food establishments are just a short drive, and a Fresh Market grocery store is across University Parkway.
Keep in mind there will be restrictions on activities for seven to 14 days. Once your surgery is completed, we will review the care required for your surgery site, and you will be given a set of written instructions on wound care from Dr. Callahan or Dr. Adams. As a convenience to our patients, we have specially prepared SkinSmart Dermatology wound care kits available for purchase. You can expect to return to our office for a suture removal or a wound check. This appointment will be scheduled before you leave our office.
If you are interested in Mohs Surgery treatment, visit Sarasota Dermatology. Our providers, including Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, are experienced in cosmetic and medical treatments and have been serving the Sarasota community for over 15 years. At SkinSmart Dermatology, we treat a wide variety of skin conditions and care for every individual patient with a personal touch. Schedule an appointment by calling 941.308.7546 or fill out the form on our contact page.