1419 Village Dr, St. Joseph, MO, 64506 - 816-364-1507
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Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced treatment process for skin cancer that offers the highest possible cure rate for many skin cancers and simultaneously minimizes the sacrifice of normal tissue. This cutting-edge treatment requires highly specialized physicians that serve as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. The microscopic analysis of resected tissue allows the surgeon to track the removal of the cancer and ensure the complete elimination of all tumor roots. As tumors often extend below intact normal skin (like the roots of a tree) this procedure allows the surgeon to see beyond the visible tumor to ensure its complete removal. The technique is most often used to remove the two most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
The cure rates for micrographic surgery approach 99% for most primary (untreated) cancers with a slightly lower cure rate for secondary or recurrent (previously treated) cancers. While limiting the sacrifice of uninvolved tissue, this specialized procedure preserves the greatest amount of normal tissue. This benefit of the procedure provides the foundation for the best reconstructions and limits scarring or permanent disfigurement. MOHS Micrographic Surgery remains the most effective method of removing non-melanotic skin cancer (basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, sebaceous carcinoma, Extramammary Paget's disease, Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, etc.) available anywhere in the world today.
Is Mohs surgery the best treatment option for all skin cancers?
If you have any type of suspicious skin lesion you should seek evaluation by a dermatologist. If skin cancer is suspected, he or she may recommend and perform a biopsy. Mohs surgery may be recommended based on the type and location of the skin cancer, as well as other factors. If your dermatologist does not perform this technique, he or she will be able to refer you to a Mohs surgeon in your area.
Mohs surgery more expensive than other types of skin cancer treatment?
Because it involves a special multi-step process, Mohs surgery is typically slightly more expensive than other skin cancer treatments. It is important, however, to consider the advantages of the Mohs technique (healthy tissue sparing capabilities, lower recurrence rate, etc.) in examining the total cost. Your physician's billing specialists will be able to provide you with estimated insurance reimbursement rates and/or possible payment plan information.
Will Mohs surgery be covered by my insurance plan?
Mohs surgery is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare. Please enlist the aid of your employee benefits administrator and/or physician's billing specialist to determine estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
Will Mohs surgery leave a scar?
All surgical procedures have the potential for some degree of visible scarring. The appearance of a post-Mohs surgical scar will depend on several factors, including size and location of the final defect, individual skin characteristics, and the reconstruction options available. You should keep in mind, however, that the tissue-sparing nature of the Mohs technique may result in a smaller, less noticeable scar than other skin cancer removal methods. The Mohs surgeon also may be able incorporate suture lines into the patient's natural skin lines and folds. Most scars improve in appearance naturally over time, and future scar revision techniques may employed if necessary.
My skin cancer is in a very noticeable facial area and I am concerned about my appearance following Mohs surgery. Should I have the skin cancer removal performed by a plastic surgeon?
It is always recommended that the removal of skin cancer by a dermatologist with specialized training in Mohs surgery, due to the histopathology component of the procedure.
Prior to your Mohs surgery appointment, you will have a consult with Dr. Stone or a member of her staff to answer any other questions.