Mohs Surgery Specialist

Idaho Skin Institute -  - Dermatology

Idaho Skin Institute

Dermatology & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Chubbuck, Burley, & Rexburg, ID

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. To prevent the growth and spread of basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, Earl Stoddard MD, FAAD, FACMS, performs Mohs surgery at Idaho Skin Institute, with locations in Chubbuck, Burley, and Rexburg, Idaho. Mohs surgery is considered the gold standard of treatment for a variety of different skin cancers. To schedule an appointment, call Idaho Skin Institute, or book online today. Telehealth appointments are available.

Mohs Surgery Q & A

What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is a form of skin cancer surgery that optimizes cure rate and minimizes scarring commonly used for skin cancer located in the following areas:

  • Nose
  • Eyelids 
  • Ears
  • Head 
  • Neck
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Genitals

Mohs surgery provides less scarring than traditional surgery, which is why dermatologists use it to treat facial skin cancers.

Often called Mohs micrographic surgery, this highly effective treatment is an outpatient procedure with a 99% success rate in most cases. Our Mohs surgeons, Dr. Stoddard and Dr. Sewell are both fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Stoddard or Dr. Sewell will remove thin layers of your skin tissue in stages to eliminate any possible cancer cells. Once the cancer has been removed, our Mohs surgeons are trained in repairing the wounds to leave minimal scarring. In certain cases, the additional assistance of a plastic surgeon may be necessary.

Which types of skin cancer does Mohs surgery treat?

Mohs surgery treats the two most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal skin cells produce new cells in the skin. The most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) often develops due to sun exposure and resembles small transparent bumps or scar-like lesions that have a waxy appearance. BCCs can also look like red, flaky patches of skin. While basal cell carcinomas typically grow slowly, they can spread deeper into the skin over time and if neglected cause significant local tissue damage.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Like BCCs, squamous cell carcinomas are typically the result of repeated sun exposure and UV light. SCCs are the second most common form of skin cancer and, while typically slow-growing, they can spread to nearby tissues, bones, and lymph nodes, unlike BCCs. Most squamous cell carcinomas manifest in a scaly, crusty patch of red skin or a small bump.

What happens during Mohs surgery?

When you come in for Mohs surgery, our Mohs surgeon will mark the area where you received your biopsy for reference. An assistant then injects a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. Once the area is clean and numb, our Mohs surgeon will remove the cancerous tissue layer by layer.

The removed tissue is then cut into small sections and processed with special dyes for lab analysis. This helps tell the team if your cancer has spread beyond the area that is visible to the naked eye. If necessary, our Mohs surgeon may need to remove additional layers of tissue.

Once the cancer has been completely removed, our Mohs surgeon may either close the wound with stitches or leave it open heal on its own. At the end of the procedure, you will be given specific wound care instructions that when followed optimize healing and minimize scarring.

Mohs surgery is the least invasive type of skin cancer surgery. While you may feel lethargic after the procedure, our team can recommend certain medications to ease your discomfort. Antibiotics are not typically required but may be prescribed if felt appropriate.

Find out if Mohs surgery is right for you by calling Idaho Skin Institute or by booking online today.