Mohs Surgery FAQs
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and, when detected and treated early, 99% of cases can be cured. Dr. Alysa Herman specializes in the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer - Mohs surgery - at her Miami practice. This innovative procedure can best be performed by specialists, such as the elite few surgeons certified by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS). Dr. Herman, a renowned ACMS member and Florida Mohs surgeon, has the skills and experience required to perform the procedure meticulously.
Meet Dr. Alysa Herman
If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.
If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.Request Your Consultation
Mohs Surgery Questions and Answers
To provide more information for her current and prospective patients, Dr. Herman has developed the following responses to frequently asked questions about Mohs surgery:
- Why is it called Mohs surgery – is that an acronym?
- What is Mohs surgery?
- I don't see anything after my biopsy; do I really need treatment?
- Why does my skin cancer require Mohs surgery?
- How long does Mohs surgery take?
- Will Mohs surgery leave a scar?
- Is Mohs surgery the most cost-effective treatment option?
The term "Mohs surgery," or Mohs micrographic surgery, is used to honor Dr. Frederic Mohs, a University of Wisconsin Surgery Professor who developed this surgical technique in the 1930s. Since its origination, the technique has become increasingly precise and effective. Dr. Herman is one of the few Mohs surgeons in Florida who have the experience and skills needed to perform this meticulous surgery.
Mohs surgery is an extremely precise and specialized skin cancer treatment. Because only one very thin layer of tissue is removed at a time for examination under a microscope, this method saves as much healthy, normal skin as possible. Dr. Mohs developed this methodology when he discovered that a skin cancer tumor is not fully visible from the surface. In addition to what can be seen, a skin cancer tumor often has more tumor cells growing downward and outward into the skin like the roots of a tree. Although these "roots" are not visible with the naked eye, they can be seen under a microscope, which is why we often refer to the surgical procedure as Mohs micrographic surgery.
If your physician has detected skin cancer, it is essential to be treated. Even though a biopsy may remove the visible signs of skin carcinoma, the surface lesion typically represents only the top part of the area containing tumor cells. Skin cancer cells often branch out like tree roots into the deeper layers of the skin. Although you cannot see them, if these cells are not removed, the tumor may recur and require even more extensive surgery. In some cases, they can even invade organs in your body.
Dr. Herman specializes in Mohs surgery in her Florida practice because it offers the highest cure rate and has been proven to be the most effective and appropriate treatment for most types of skin cancer. It is particularly suited to skin cancer that:
- Occurs in an area where it is important to save the healthy skin tissue for functional and cosmetic reasons, particularly areas of the face such as the eyelids, nose, lips, and ears
- Has recurred after prior treatment
- Is located adjacent to or within scar tissue
- Is large in size
- Lacks clearly defined borders
- Is developing quickly or uncontrollably
- Is an aggressive variety, such as infiltrating basal cell carcinoma
- Develops in organ transplant patients, leukemia patients, or other immune-suppressed patients
In addition to the criteria above, there are many other skin cancers for which Mohs surgery is an appropriate option. To determine which treatment is best for you, schedule an appointment with an experienced Mohs surgeon.
The procedure typically takes 1 to 3 hours, although it varies depending on the extent of the tumor and any reconstruction to be performed that day. By consulting with Dr. Herman, you can acquire an understanding of your unique carcinoma and what will be involved, including the estimated timeframe, for your Mohs surgery in Miami.
Among its other advantages, Mohs surgery saves as much healthy skin tissue as possible, which helps to minimize scarring. However, as with any skin cancer treatment requiring the removal of cancerous skin cells, some degree of scarring will result. After Dr. Herman has completely removed your skin cancer by using Mohs surgery, she will discuss options for any related reconstruction. The focus of reconstructive surgery, if needed, is to provide you with the optimal functional and cosmetic results.
Post-surgical scars typically become less visible over time. During the healing process, the scar may temporarily appear red, due to the development of new blood vessels. In addition, the scar may temporarily appear bumpy or hardened due to normal skin contraction during the recovery period. Such changes generally are temporary. Dr. Herman always is available throughout your recovery period to respond to any questions or concerns.
Yes. To understand the cost-effectiveness of Mohs surgery, it's important to recognize several different factors, such as:
- Success rate. Mohs surgery has been shown to be the most effective and successful treatment for most types of skin cancer.
- Number of procedures needed. Due to the effectiveness of Mohs surgery, most patients require only a single surgery. In addition, that procedure typically includes both the complete and confirmed removal of the carcinoma and the closure of the wound.
- Additional fees. Other methods may appear to be less expensive initially. However, those methods may require additional surgeries and separate pathology readings, each of which has associated separate costs. In contrast, a single Mohs surgery procedure includes the pathology readings.