Even the suspicion of skin cancer can be frightening. A confirmed diagnosis certainly isn't easy to hear. It is important, however, to understand that even though skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in our country, it is also very treatable. The most frequently diagnosed skin cancers, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, have the highest survival and recovery rates compared to all other forms of cancer. This is good news. Additional good news includes treatment options with advanced techniques such as Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
Mohs technique used by Dr. Ron Shelton
The Mohs technique used in Dr. Ron Shelton's dermatology practice was developed in the 1930s. It is, to date, the most effective technique for the removal of abnormal skin cells. At the same time, Mohs is preferred for its preservation of healthy cells around a skin cancer lesion or tumor. This technique is, in fact, the most commonly performed skin cancer surgery, ideal for highly visible areas such as the face. This can be a very anxiety-provoking experience and Dr. Shelton is very astute to that concern and he and his team of nurses, do their utmost to keep their patients comfortable and relaxed. Many of Dr. Shelton's patients comment at the end of a long Mohs surgery day, how much they appreciate the care they received throughout the experience, some, even saying that it was as close to an enjoyable experience as one could imagine undergoing surgery.
Mohs skin cancer surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in our modern dermatology facility. The process can, depending on the size of the lesion, take several hours. The duration of the Mohs appointment does not indicate complexity. More so, it is due to the process of skin cancer removal.
Removal of cancerous cells
After numbing the treatment area, a thin layer of skin cells is removed from around and under the skin cancer to attempt to capture the entire skin cancer with a narrow margin. These cells are immediately viewed under a microscope by the specifically trained Mohs surgeon. This process of removal and evaluation continues one stage at a time until no cancerous cells are viewed under magnification. If reconstruction is needed, Dr. Shelton usually performs this the same day as Mohs surgery although some patients are referred to a plastic surgeon for repair of the Mohs defect.
Mohs micrographic surgery is ideal for people who are afflicted with a large, aggressive, or recurrent skin cancer. Additionally, this technique is ideal for highly visible areas. The consideration of this treatment takes several factors into account. Not every skin cancer should be treated with Mohs surgery. The recommendation for treatment will be made after careful consideration by Dr. Ron Shelton.
Once the skin cancer is removed after Mohs micrographic surgery in Dr. Shelton's NYC practice, there is the smallest hole possible to achieve the highest chance of cure. Reconstructive efforts including skin flaps and skin grafts are often done the same day. Once the skin cancer is removed, then the focus is on achieving the best possible cosmetic functional and cosmetic outcome. During the healing process Dr. Shelton also evaluates if scars can improve with laser treatment or topical products and massage.
Address skin cancer with the advanced skill and specific technique of your Manhattan dermatologist. Call (212) 593-1818.
Content updated: May 2020
To learn more about Mohs micrographic surgery or to schedule your skin cancer screening in Dr. Shelton's Manhattan medical practice, call (212) 593-1818.