Welcome to our next video series: A Comprehensive Guide to Mohs Surgery
says that patients should first consider what changes that they are undergoing, so that they can understand what the surgeon is proposing to address these problems better.
Skin Therapy Letter and Skin Experts Talk interviewed one of Canada’s leading Mohs surgeons, Dr. Bryce Cowan from the Skin Care Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dr. Cowan is the first plastic surgeon to be certified to perform Mohs Surgery from the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery, and continues to help educate other surgeons. In this video series, Dr. Cowan explains the procedure, expectation, and the facts and myths surrounding this advanced treatment procedure for removing skin cancer.
We ask Dr. Cowan about the procedure, what patients can expect, and why it has such a high cure rate while being able to save the most amount of healthy tissue. By combining real time histological analysis with excision, it adds precision to the procedure. In addition, the patient also benefits from the fact that they need to undergo the procedure once only, as there is no need to check the biopsy at a later date since this is done on site on the day as part of the procedure. Dr. Cowan answers questions about various different skin cancers, and when Mohs is not indicated, recovery time, patient expectations as well as the reconstruction surgery process.
Most valuable for patients who are expecting this procedure, Dr. Cowan explains how patients can better educate themselves about the procedure, and how they can prepare for their appointment and what they can expect before, on the day of the procedure, and after the procedure.
In the first video (scroll up to watch) we start with the introduction to Mohs Surgery.
What is Mohs Surgery, also called Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
Mohs surgery is an advanced technique for removing skin cancers that combines histological analysis under a microscope at real-time with surgical excision. With this technique, the surgeon is able to remove the cancer successfully while preserving the greatest amount of tissue. This method of surgical excision offers the highest cure rate for Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carcinomas, which are the two most common skin cancers.
In contrast to a traditional surgery for skin cancer, which involves cutting out a large margin around the visible skin cancer, with mohs surgery a small level is taken, and then analyzed under a microscope. The excised skin is marked so that the surgeon knows exactly what location and the placement of the skin if there is still cancer visible on the margins. The surgeon can then remove skin only where the cancer still remains. In this way, the extra visibility provided by the histological analysis allows the surgeon to act with precision and save tissue while ensuring the cancer is removed in its entirety.