Mohs micrographic surgery is an advanced treatment option that offers patients the highest cure rate for most types of skin cancers.

As the only academic, fellowship-trained provider of Mohs micrographic surgery in mid-Missouri, we have cared for thousands of patients and have one of the highest patient satisfaction scores of any clinic at University of Missouri Health Care.

During a Mohs surgical procedure, your surgeon removes each layer of the tumor to eliminate all cancerous cells. The Mohs procedure provides a 99 percent cure rate for basal cell carcinoma and a 97 percent cure rate for squamous cell carcinoma, so typically once a skin cancer is treated with this technique, it will not return. Our Mohs surgery expert is able to remove skin cancer that appears on the face, hand, feet, genitals and pretibial skin, or shin bone area.

Mohs surgery is also the most conservative, or tissue sparing, of the surgical treatments for skin cancer. Once removal of the cancer is complete, our doctor and team are typically able to repair the defect in a cosmetically elegant fashion on the same day. If your cancer requires multiple specialists, we have physicians in plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, oculoplastic surgery and oncology standing by to coordinate care.

What should I know about Mohs surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is safe and effective. Our doctor and team strive to provide the best treatment and safety for our patients. There are some cases of skin cancer that patients can truly benefit from Mohs surgery. Those cases include:

  • Skin cancer that is large in size
  • If a skin cancer has poorly defined edges
  • Skin cancer that returns after previous treatments
  • Aggressive or rare forms of skin cancer
  • Skin cancer on areas of the body previously treated with radiation
  • Skin cancer is located on areas of the body that a patient would like to have precise surgical removal to maximize cosmetic and functional results, such as the nose, lips, eyes, facial area, feet, hands, genitals or shin bone area on the lower legs.

Mohs surgery is done as an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic that is injected around the skin cancer. This is similar to what a patient experiences during a skin biopsy. Patients should not feel any pain during the procedure, and might experience slight discomfort during recovery.

Our doctor reviews the skin removed under a microscope to ensure all of the cancer cells were removed. When all of the cancer has been removed, the patient and doctor discuss how to help the wound recover. The American College of Mohs Surgery has created a patient education video to explain the procedure.

Training tomorrow’s dermatologic surgeons

Our doctor is fellowship-trained, meaning he has had rigorous specialty training in Mohs surgery and is one of the best in mid-Missouri. He now provides that same training to future Mohs surgeons through the Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology fellowship training program, a highly-competitive and sought-after training program and the only program of its kind in the state outside of St. Louis.

The University of Missouri Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center has a proven track record of providing high-quality care for the most complex and challenging skin cancers. Because of our successful patient outcomes, we are approved by the American Board of Dermatology and the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education). This unique fellowship brings physicians from across the nation to MU Health Care to do subspecialized training in micrographic (Mohs) surgery and dermatologic oncology, and it’s one reason we’re proud to be an academic health system.