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Mohs Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is an advanced skin cancer treatment that is effective in nearly 99% of non-melanoma cases. Dr. Albert C. Cattell performs Mohs surgery at our Ann Arbor, Michigan location. He completed rigorous fellowship training to become a member of the prestigious American College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. Cattell's extensive experience in this specialized procedure is matched by few other board-certified dermatologists.

If you would like to learn more about skin cancer or Mohs surgery, request a consultation at either our Ann Arbor or Plymouth location to meet with Dr. Cattell, or call us at (734) 996-8757 (Ann Arbor) or 734-455-6881 (Plymouth) and one our knowledgeable staff members will assist you in scheduling an appointment.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is named for Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed the procedure in the 1930s. It has since evolved into the most advanced and precise treatment for skin cancer, especially basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Those make up the vast majority of diagnosed skin cancer cases.

Mohs surgery has been proven effective by combining the surgical removal of cancer with the immediate microscopic examination of the underlying diseased tissue. This process allows Dr. Cattell to see beyond the visible disease to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor. This delicate balance of removing all of the cancer cells while preserving as much healthy skin as possible is achieved by alternating surgical and diagnostic steps.

Mohs surgery is performed in the office, on an outpatient basis, using local anesthesia. First, Dr. Cattell removes the visible tumor and a small layer of surrounding tissue to search for any remaining cancer cells. Next, he marks, freezes, stains, and places the tissue on glass slides for microscopic examination. If he identifies additional cancer cells, he proceeds with the removal of another small layer of skin for evaluation. He repeats this process until no further cancer cells are located.

This deliberate procedure ensures all diseased cells are removed while limiting the damage to healthy tissue. Because most skin cancer is found on visible areas, such as the lips, nose, ears, and hands, most patients are concerned about the cosmetic results. In most cases, the wound is repaired the same day, following the completion of the Mohs surgery. However, in some cases, the patient is referred to a plastic surgeon for the repair.

The Advantages of Mohs Surgery

Of all treatment options for skin cancer, Mohs micrographic surgery:

  • Offers the highest cure rate (up to 99%)
  • Has the lowest rate of cancer recurrence
  • Minimizes scarring
  • Is the most exact and precise means of removal

Am I Good Candidate for Mohs Surgery?

Most patients with skin cancer in a visible area that also poses cosmetic concerns are good candidates for Mohs micrographic surgery. The procedure is especially effective for cases where the skin cancer:

  • Develops on an area where preserving cosmetic appearance and function are important
  • Is likely to recur or has already recurred after previous treatment
  • Is located in scar tissue
  • Is large
  • Has edges that are ill-defined
  • Grows rapidly

Dr. Cattell helps patients identify whether they might be good candidates for this effective procedure during a comprehensive consultation.

Choosing a Mohs College Surgeon

Getting treatment from a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon such as Dr. Cattell at Ann Arbor Dermatology means you get the best possible medical and cosmetic results. Dr. Cattell's vast experience in Mohs surgery is one of the reasons he is well-respected as a skin cancer treatment specialist. He performs more than 800 Mohs surgery procedures each year and has performed more than 20,000 such cases in his career as a board-certified dermatologist. Although all board-certified dermatologists can perform Mohs surgery, only Mohs College members have advanced training and experience that sets them apart.

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