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Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery in Greenwood Village

Skin cancer is a serious and potentially deadly condition. Early diagnosis is a key component for effective treatment. Although dermatologists and other medical professionals work diligently to spread the word about sun protection and cancer prevention, it continues to be an unfortunately common problem. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is important to choose the right physician, and the right treatment. At AboutSkin Dermatology, you will only see a Board-Certified Dermatologist for your skin evaluations.

What is Mohs?

The most advanced technique for skin cancer removal currently available is Mohs Micrographic Surgery. It offers a higher cure rate, and smaller scars than any other method of surgical removal, making it ideal for large tumors, ill-defined tumors, recurrent tumors, or tumors located in highly visible areas, especially on the face. The skin is processed so that the surgeon can look at the ENTIRE edge of the margins (much like looking at the entire crust of a pie) rather than just samples of the edge (like slices of bread from a loaf). It is a sophisticated and delicate procedure, requiring considerable skill and training. Dr. Joel Cohen of AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, PC in Englewood/South Denver and Lone Tree is one of a select few board-certified dermatologists in Colorado who has completed a full-Fellowship training from the American College of Mohs Surgery.

What to expect

The first step is to take a small tissue sample (biopsy) to determine if you have cancer. Although an experienced dermatologist, such as those at AboutSkin, can often recognize cancer on sight, the diagnosis is confirmed by a dermatopathologist through laboratory testing before moving forward with treatment.

If it is determined that you are a good candidate for Mohs, an appointment will be arranged. You should plan on spending a large portion of that day in our office—with the experience often requiring a patient to be in the office for 3-4 hours (though most of the time is spent waiting for the frozen sections samples to be processed). The process is completed in several stages, removing a thin layer of tissue and evaluating it before continuing. The location of cancerous cells in each layer of tissue is used as a guide for precision accuracy in removing the next layer. Depending on how large the tumor is under the microscope, this can be time consuming. Although it would be faster to remove a large amount of tissue at once, the Mohs technique minimizes the risk of recurrence, because removal is confirmed by looking at the entire pie-crust margin. It also leaves the healthy surrounding tissue undisturbed, making cosmetic reconstruction simpler and more effective.

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment at Aboutskin Dermatology, call 303.756.SKIN (7546).