Skin cancer cases are on the rise, especially throughout the southwest and Arizona. Having cancerous cells excised from the skin can require multiple treatments and leave scars over all parts of the body. The goal of skin cancer surgery is to remove the entire cancerous lesion.

For many years, surgeons would estimate the depth of the cancer, remove the growth with a border of healthy tissue and then suture the site closed or allow it to heal on its’ own with local wound care only. However, over the last decade an increasing number of surgeons have adopted Mohs micrographic surgery as a way to remove tumors while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.


Dr. Frederick Mohs developed MOHS surgery in the 1930s, which has been used to remove many kinds of skin cancers, including the two most common types: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs surgery is currently one of the most effective techniques for removing different types of skin cancers and is typically performed by specially trained Dermatologists.

Traditionally skin cancers were excised and sent to pathology for examination, and obtaining final results could take days. However, MOHS microscopic examination is performed during the surgery itself allowing for surgeons to clear the tumor margins instantly. One layer of tissue is removed at a time using a scalpel or curette and is then examined under a microscope at the time of surgical excision. Special attention is paid to the borders of the tissue sample. Once those borders are cancer free, the procedure is complete. Cure rates for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are 98 percent with Mohs surgery.

Mohs surgery is most often used on patients whose cancers have returned, have poorly distinguished boundaries, or are in sensitive areas around the lips, nose, eyes, neck, feet, and hands. By having MOHS surgery it will preserver more precious tissue surrounding the lesion that can then be used for reconstruction.

Mohs surgery not only allows patients to obtain cancer free margins instantly, but it allows for superior cosmetic results when compared to traditional excision. In fact, in special instances the wound may heal naturally for the best result, but most often will need to be reconstructed by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Brown.


Dr. Brown is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in the Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona area. He knows many Arizonans are exposed to harmful cancer causing UV rays every single day. If you have been a victim of skin cancer and will be having it removed, and are looking into skin cancer reconstruction, Dr. Brown can help.

During your consultation with Dr. Brown, he will discuss surgical options for MOHS reconstruction and recommend the most up to date cutting edge reconstructive options to leave you with the most optimal cosmetic result.

If you would like to learn more about skin cancer reconstruction and are in the Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona area, please contact Richard J. Brown MD, PLLC today.

Download Mohs Post Operative Instructions