You've Come to the Right Place

Now that you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is time to seek treatment. At Rochester Dermatologic Surgery, we are specialists who have devoted our careers to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin cancer. We are committed to making sure that your skin cancer is completely cured and that the permanent effects on your skin and your life are minimal. Although your spot may seem small, one of the most common things we hear from patients is that they didn’t feel prepared for what was entailed with its removal.

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Your Visit

The initial part of your visit to Rochester Dermatologic Surgery will consist of a consultation with your physician so that you better understand the nature of your diagnosis, what it means to your health, and the most effective treatment options available.

If you haven’t had a prior consultation, it is impossible for us to be certain of your needs. Although we see and treat thousands of skin cancers each year, this may be your first, and we will take the time to help you understand all aspects of the condition and its management.

At the same time, we know that your time is valuable and that trips to the doctor can be expensive, so we always aim to provide treatment at the same visit as your consultation if this fits with your life and your schedule. However, in a few situations, this may not be possible.

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Many skin cancers we see are treated by a procedure known as Mohs micrographic surgery, or simply, Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery is a meticulous approach to ensure that skin cancers are completely removed (with over 99% certainty) and to preserve as much of the uninvolved skin as possible. In some cases, Mohs surgery may not be the best technique to treat your cancer.

For growths on the torso or extremities, we may use techniques such as standard excision (surgical removal followed by immediate suturing), electrodesiccation and curettage (“scrape and burn” procedure), cryosurgery, or certain medications. In some situations, there may be a clearly superior method, while in others we may have more than one choice.

In every case, we will discuss these options with you in depth and determine the best course of treatment to ensure that your skin cancer is adequately treated. For some more serious cancers such as melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma, there are national guidelines that dictate the appropriate treatment.

 
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Regardless, of the type of treatment you will undergo, it is best to come prepared

Because of the careful way we check the removed skin under the microscope while you wait, Mohs procedures take significantly more time than other treatment methods.

Thus, unless you have had a consultation prior to your day of treatment, it is best to come prepared for any approach we may take. Also, just because you are scheduled for Mohs surgery, this does not mean you will necessarily have this procedure.

The ultimate decision will depend on many factors that your physician will discuss with you.

 

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs surgery is a delicate, intricate, and highly effective treatment for skin cancer.

While many physicians may perform Mohs surgery, not all providers are fellows of the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Board of Dermatology.

By choosing a board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon you can be assured that you will receive the highest standard of quality and competency as well as an optimal outcome.

  • The visible tumor and a small segment
    of surrounding skin are removed.
  • The tissue is examined under a microscope
    to see if any cancer cells remain at any of the edges.
  • If any cancer remains, additional skin continues to be removed
    and examined under the microscope.
  • This process continues until no more cancer cells are found.
  • The visible tumor and a small segment of surrounding skin are removed.
  • The tissue is examined under a microscope to see if any cancer cells remain at any of the edges.
  • If any cancer remains, additional skin continues to be removed and examined under the microscope.
  • This process continues over and over again until no more cancer cells are found.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs surgery is a delicate, intricate and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. While many physicians may perform Mohs surgery, not all providers are fellows of the American College of Mohs surgery of the American Board of Dermatology.

By choosing a board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon you can be assured that you will receive the highest standard of quality and competency as well as an optimal outcome.

Types of Reconstruction

Once your skin cancer has been removed by the Mohs surgery technique, there will be an area of skin that needs to be repaired, or with sutures  (stitches).  This part of the procedure can, at times, be very involved to ensure the best functional and cosmetic outcome.  The physicians at Rochester Dermatologic Surgery have undergone rigorous fellowship training in the techniques of facial reconstruction.  Below are the most common approaches to repairing the skin once a skin cancer has been successfully removed:

Upon completion of your procedure, our nursing staff will review your discharge instructions in depth. This will include options for pain control, appropriate wound care and signs of potential complications. An on-call provider is available at all times after hours. In most cases, you will return to the office for a post-operative check between 1-3 weeks. Repairs using flaps or grafts may require multiple follow up visits to ensure proper healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following list is designed to help you understand your diagnosis, options for treatment, details of Mohs surgery, how to prepare for your procedure, and what to expect once your treatment has been completed.
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Dr. Frederic Mohs

Mohs surgery is named in honor of the doctor who first developed the technique, Dr. Frederic Mohs. Dr. Mohs was a professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin and developed the process in the 1930’s.

It has been since undergone additional improvements and has come to be known as “Mohs micrographic surgery” or simply “Mohs surgery”.

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Dr. Frederic Mohs

Mohs surgery is named in honor of the doctor who first developed the technique, Dr. Frederic Mohs. Dr Mohs was a professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin and developed the process in the 1930’s. It has been since undergone additional improvements and has come to be known as “Mohs micrographic surgery” or simply “Mohs surgery”.