Mohs surgery is a precise method of excising skin cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Layers of skin are removed one at a time until all the cancerous layers are gone. As much cancer is removed as possible while causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissues.
MedicineNet explains that local anesthesia is used to numb the area before the surgeon begins removing the layers of skin. As each layer is removed, it is examined under a microscope. When no more cancer cells are detected in the specimen, the surgeon decides how best to close the wound to provide pleasing cosmetic results. Mohs surgery provides a high cure rate and preserves as much normal skin as possible.
Mohs surgery is usually used to remove skin cancer from parts of the body that are cosmetically sensitive, such as the face, hairline, hands, feet and genitals, according to Mayo Clinic. Used to treat basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, some types of melanoma and other types of skin cancer, Mohs surgery is also preferred to treat cancers that have recurred, cancers that have a high risk of recurrence, lesions that have borders that are difficult to define and cancers that are particularly aggressive or large. Using Mohs surgery makes the need for additional treatments or surgery less likely.