Harvard Health Letter

What is Mohs micrographic surgery

Mohs surgery is the best way to make sure that a skin cancer is completely removed.

Mohs micrographic surgery is the usual first choice for treating high-risk squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers (and sometimes melanoma) because it offers the best chance of a cure and the best possible cosmetic result. When used to treat a first skin cancer, cure rates five years after Mohs surgery are 97% for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 99% for basal cell carcinoma (BCC)—higher than any other treatment approach. The procedure allows a physician to track down the cancer to its roots and remove it without taking more tissue than is absolutely necessary.

Mohs surgeons have specialized skills and training in dermatology, dermatological surgery, pathology, and the Mohs technique.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »