What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is considered the most effective technique for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), the two most common types of skin cancer. 


Sometimes called Mohs micrographic surgery, the procedure is done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits. This allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar.


At Idaho Skin Institute, our doctors have received advanced fellowship training in performing this surgery.  A special technique is used that removes the entire tumor while causing the least damage to healthy tissues. This technique assures the best result for minimal scarring. For this reason, Mohs surgery is ideal for removing skin cancers from the nose, eyelids, ears, entire head and neck area, hands, feet, and genitals.


The procedure is highly effective for skin cancers that have high rates of recurrence. It’s also effective on aggressive or large lesions. Mohs surgery is also used when lesions have ill-defined borders.


Mohs Surgery has a 99% success rate on skin cancers that have never been treated before, and 94% success rate for a skin cancer that has recurred after previous treatment. 

Is Mohs Surgery Right For Me?

Mohs surgery is the gold standard for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), including those in cosmetically and functionally important areas around the eyes, nose, lips, ears, scalp, fingers, toes or genitals. Mohs is also recommended for BCCs or SCCs that are large, aggressive or growing rapidly, that have indistinct edges, or have recurred after previous treatment. Some surgeons are also successfully using Mohs surgery on certain cases of melanoma.


At the Idaho Skin Institute, we are dedicated to caring for all of your skin needs! No matter what your specific skin concern may be, you can expect genuine and personalized care to optimize your individual outcome. We even have a free skin cancer screening on the first Tuesday of every month, from 5pm to 6:15 pm, except when they fall near a holiday or on an election day. For more information on how we can help you, visit our website!

How Long Is The Recovery Time?

Mohs surgery is performed with local anesthesia, which means you won’t have to worry about the common surgical risks that come with using general anesthesia.


After the surgery ends, you can expect to feel tired – you did just have surgery after all! It is important to rest and relax for a few days after your surgery, and avoid any strenuous activities, including bending.


You may also be prescribed some antibiotics to prevent any risk of infection. There is some minor discomfort and light bleeding experienced after the procedure. Your doctor can advise you on any necessary medications for postsurgical discomfort, and of course alert your doctor if you experience any heavy bleeding or other reactions that concern you.  


Mohs surgery is still the most successful and least invasive technique for removing skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It’s also been performed successfully in some melanoma cases. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.


Our own Dr. Stoddard is one of only 6 fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons in the state of Idaho and the only fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in Pocatello. He has helped perform over 6,000 Mohs surgery cases. Dr. Stoddard is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery, and a member of the America Society of Dermatological Surgery. 


At Idaho Skin Institute we see patients for many different skin care related issues. If you have noticed some spots appearing on your skin, or a suspect mole has popped up, it is always a good idea to come in and see Dr. Stoddard or one of our dermatologists on staff for a consult. Remember, you can even come and see us without an appointment on the first Tuesday of every month, from 5pm to 6:15 pm (except when the date falls near a holiday or on an election day) during our walk-in clinic hours for free skin care consultations. 

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