Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery was initially developed by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs and has been refined over the past 70 years. It is the most effective procedure for treating basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, with the highest cure rate of all skin cancer treatments — up to 99%. This technique enables surgeons to identify and remove tumors one layer at a time, while preserving as much of the healthy tissue as possible.
Mohs surgery is recommended for skin cancer treatment in the following situations:
- Anatomic areas where preservation of healthy tissue is critical for cosmetic or functional purposes, e.g., eyelids, nose, face, fingers, and toes
- Recurrent tumors
- Aggressive tumors
- Skin cancers with indistinct margins
- Patients who are immune suppressed
Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Highest cure rate for most skin cancers, up to 99%
- Microscopic examination of complete surgical margin
- Maximal preservation of healthy tissue to minimize defect and scar
- Procedure performed from start to finish under local anesthesia by a skin cancer expert
Steps for Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Vanguard’s Mohs Surgeons
This procedure is most effectively performed by specially trained surgeons who have completed a rigorous and selective post-residency fellowship. Surgeons with the highest degree of training become members of the American College of Mohs Surgery, which is the “gold standard” in Mohs micrographic surgery.
Dr. Vinh Chung, Dr. Tamar Hajar, and Dr. Renata Prado are highly trained fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons in Southern Colorado. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, and together, they treat thousands of skin cancers annually.
Our Mohs surgeons collaborate with Vanguard’s plastic surgeons. Together, the team treats the most complex skin cancers and achieves the best cosmetic outcomes. They are committed to taking you through this process with optimal results. See our Photo Gallery
Please call our surgery department at (719) 355-1584 to schedule your consultation with Mohs surgeons Dr. Vinh Chung, Dr. Tamar Hajar, or Dr. Renata Prado in Colorado Springs or Pueblo.
Instructions for patients having Mohs surgery
Your Surgery Coordinator is always available to answer your questions. This information is provided so you know how to prepare and what to expect.
- Continue all medications prescribed by your doctor
- If you are taking warfarin or coumadin, please have your INR checked within 3 days of your surgery. It should be within therapeutic range.
- Ten days before surgery, discontinue all aspirin, ibuprofen or herbal supplements unless prescribed by your doctor. Tylenol is okay.
- Tell us in advance if you require antibiotics before dental or other surgical procedures. This is usually indicated if you have a prosthetic heart valve, history of infective endocarditis, or recent joint replacement. If you are unsure if antibiotics are required, contact your cardiologist or orthopedic surgeon to clarify.
THE DAY OF SURGERY:
- Eat a normal meal and dress comfortably.
- Bathe and wash your hair.
- Avoid make-up, perfume, nail polish (if surgery is on your hand), and jewelry.
- If surgical site is in your beard or mustache, shave ahead of time.
- If you are scheduled to have the surgical repair performed in an operating room, then you may need to fast. Please check with the plastic surgeon performing the repair.
What to stop doing
- Smoking increases your risk of complications. Stop smoking 1 week in advance and for 2-3 months afterward.
- Refrain from alcohol for 48 hours before your surgery to minimize bruising.
What to bring
- Please have a companion drive you to and from the surgery. Your companion may also wait with you between surgical stages.
- Feel free to bring a book or something to pass the time.
- If you are on oxygen, bring enough for 8 hours.
- You may have had Mohs surgery in offices where you have to wait in the waiting room between every Mohs stage. We do not operate that way at Vanguard. For your privacy, comfort and safety, you will have your room for the entire duration of the Mohs surgery. You will only change rooms if a plastic surgeon is performing your repair.
Take time off
- It is difficult to predict how many surgical stages are required, so reserve the entire day. You will need to refrain from exercise and strenuous activity for 2 weeks after surgery.
What to expect
- Most pain can be managed with Tylenol.
- Your surgeon will discuss with you any potential complications.
- Most repairs after Mohs surgery will be performed in office by your Mohs surgeon or a plastic surgeon. If you require a more extensive repair in an operating room, your surgeon will discuss options with you.
- Mohs surgery removes the minimal amount of tissue to minimize scarring. However, any surgical procedure will leave a scar.
- Follow the wound care instructions provided by your surgeon on the day of surgery. Those instructions will include your surgeon's cell phone number.
- No exercise or strenuous activity for 2 weeks after surgery. Some surgeries may require longer rest time.
- No smoking for 2-3 months. Smoking impairs healing and worsens the cosmetic outcome.
We are available to you before and after your surgery. Please call us at 719-355-1584 with any questions.
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