What is Mohs Surgery?
Skin cancer is a diagnosis many dread. However, at Clearview Dermatology, we are here to help our Central Massachusetts patients fight their cancer with an optimistic outlook. Using one of the most successful treatments and removal methods, Mohs surgery, our team at Clearview Dermatology aims to remove as little of your healthy skin as possible while maintaining optimal success rates for eliminating basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and other cancer types. Dr. Steven P. Smith possesses expertise as fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons. Our talented dermatologists at each of our locations in Hudson, Leominster, and Gardner, MA have one goal in mind — helping you get and remain healthy.
Mohs Surgery Reviews
"Dr Smith has done 2 MOHS procedures for me - one in Wellesley office and one in West Roxbury. He was great! He explained to me what he was doing and scars are minimal. I didn't talk a lot to Wellesley office staff so can't comment but my regular dermatologist is in West Roxbury and they are great!"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Jul 23, 2019
"Grateful Patient - i just had my third Mohs Surgery forsquameous cell skin cancers. Thank god for Dr. Smith.My husband has had about 12 Mohs Surgeries, we are both grateful to Dr. Smith"- Anonymous / Vitals / Aug 19, 2010
"I recently had two Mohs surgeries done at Clearview dermatology Gardner office with Rebecca Jacobson the experience was excellent and Rebecca and her team made me feel very comfortable and explained everything to me The new office in Gardner is so convenient easy parking right in front of the entrance. I highly recommend Rebecca"- A.C. / Google / Apr 21, 2023
What Are the Benefits of Mohs Surgery?
At Clearview Dermatology, we know how scary it can be to hear the word "cancer." However, our highly skilled and board-certified dermatologists are here to help. We perform Mohs surgery — one of the most successful skin cancer removal treatments — at our three locations in Hudson, Leominster, and Gardner, MA. Benefits of Mohs surgery include:
- Very high success rates for curing skin cancer
- Low probability of recurrence
- Relatively little pain compared to other surgeries
- Mohs surgeons are highly trained and experienced
- The Mohs technique means as little skin as possible will be removed
Am I a Good Candidate for Mohs Surgery?
The Mohs surgery procedure at Clearview Dermatology is often used to treat the two most prevalent kinds of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, and a wide range of other skin cancer subtypes. If you're suffering from melanoma or a different form of rare skin cancer, an appointment will help determine if you are an ideal candidate for Mohs surgery. Besides the form of skin cancer you have, there are also other qualifying criteria that make you a good candidate for Mohs surgery.
Mohs surgery is the best option if your cancer presents a higher risk of returning or if it has already returned after treatment. The cancer cells should also be located in sensitive locations, such as the eyes, ears, mouth, or nose. Skin cancer cells that are big, aggressive, and have boundaries that are hard to define are also better handled with Mohs surgery.
What Can I Expect from Mohs Surgery?
To start your outpatient Mohs surgery, one of our talented dermatologists will use a local anesthetic to numb your treatment area(s). We will make small incisions and very carefully remove layers of skin for review. The skin will be frozen, processed, then we will review it under a microscope to see if we find any cancer cells. If we find detection of cancer, we'll note it. This process is repeated as necessary until we find a layer of skin with no cancer, following which we'll close the treatment area. The number of layers removed will depend on the stage of cancer you are in. Most patients find that this form of skin cancer removal only provides a minor amount of pain. If you have a larger cancer area or are having the central face treated, you should have someone drive you home after the procedure. Regardless of treatment area, you should avoid strenuous activity or exercise for two weeks.
Sutures will be removed at one of our Clearview Dermatology offices depending on how the treatment site is allowed to heal. In some cases, you may be asked to come back after a couple days so we can monitor healing. The amount of scarring left will depend on your procedure, but we aim to create as little scarring as possible and can provide instructions on healthy healing habits to help reduce scarring. While it's not an easy surgery, there is about a 99% success rate for basal cell carcinoma and thin melanomas and about a 97% rate for squamous cell carcinoma.
Mohs Surgery FAQ
What is the success rate of Mohs surgery?
The success rate of Mohs surgery is usually very high. When treating main basal cell carcinoma, the procedure has about a 99% success rate. Additionally, when treating squamous cell carcinoma, the success rate tends to be about 97%. In both cases, patients can feel very comfortable with the chances of their cancer being properly treated.
Will I need more than one treatment?
While the vast majority of patients will only need one treatment, others may need a second procedure. We are happy to schedule a consultation with one of our Mohs surgeons, who can analyze your unique situation and make determinations on the likelihood of needing additional surgeries.
Will I have a scar?
Scarring can differ depending on the approach administered and your unique condition. Patients who have greater treatment areas or complex situations are more likely to have a scar. That being said, our practitioners will do everything feasible to minimize scarring. When you have recovered, our team may recommend a scar revision procedure to help minimize the presence of scarring even more.
Will my insurance cover the cost of Mohs?
While most major insurance plans cover the cost of Mohs procedures you may incur a balance due related to your deductible, co-insurance, or copayment responsibilities. With 1,000’s of plans on the market it is impossible for our staff to know your exact coverage. Please use this form to call your insurance company to confirm your benefit coverage, and any amounts you may be responsible for. Additionally, we do ask all patients having Mohs to place a credit card on file prior to having the procedure. Our billing department is available to assist with any questions you may have.
Seek Superior Cancer Care
When confronting a skin cancer diagnosis, it's important to do thorough research and locate an experienced Mohs surgeon who is an ideal match for your requirements and needs. Success rates of this procedure are directly connected to your doctor's skill and experience. To find out more about the expertise, training, and personal success rates of our experienced dermatologists, call Clearview Dermatology today and schedule an appointment.