Mohs Micrographic surgery is a highly specialised technique that has become the leading treatment for high risk skin cancer or skin cancers in visible places such as the nose and face, where conservation of normal skin tissue is of the essence. The technique is named after Dr Frederick Mohs, who developed the technique in the 1930s, and it has been further refined over the years into a precise technique used for many types of skin cancer. Detailed information on the clinical aspects of Mohs micrographic surgery can be found here.
Crucial to Mohs treatment is the work of our histopathologist and Mohs trained technical staff. Our histopathologist, if required, can attend the procedure as part of the treating team. The Mohs surgeon will remove both the cancerous tissue and a thin layer of clinically normal tissue. The Mohs surgeon or our histopathologist will colour the specimen according to Mohs’ map to enable examination of the whole under surface and edge of the tissue in detail, in order to identify all microscopic “roots” of the cancer. After this, our Mohs trained biomedical scientist will freeze the tissue to produce thin sections at regular intervals. These will be stained and passed to either the Mohs Surgeon or our histopathologist for assessment under a microscope. This is the longest part of the procedure, taking an hour or so to complete.
If residual cancer is found, the process will be repeated and tissue examined again until all cancerous areas are located and removed. If the cancerous tumour is adequately removed, then the Mohs surgeon will have to determine who will close or reconstruct as appropriate to the patient’s condition.
Our histopathologists and Mohs technicians work as part of the Mohs team throughout the process and until the procedure is completed.
We are also able to support Mohs surgeons with the technical only provision of Mohs services by supplying an experienced Mohs technician
Our extensive experience of providing Mohs services allows us to support new services in private and NHS hospitals. This can range from Mohs technician back up support to advising on entire Mohs service design and implementation.
*Images courtesy of Skin care Network (Barnet) ltd.