Dr. Liu has been a Fellow of the American Society for
Micrographic Surgery since 2002. She also is a member of
the American Society for Dermatological Surgery.
What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective
technique for the removal of skin cancer. It differs from other
skin cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and
complete microscopic examination of the removed cancerous tissue,
so that all "roots" and extensions of the cancer can be eliminated.
Due to the methodical manner in which tissue is removed and examined,
Mohs surgery has been recognized as the skin cancer treatment with
the highest reported cure rate.
Advantages of the Mohs Surgical Procedure
Some skin cancers can be deceptively large - far more extensive under
the skin than they appear to be from the surface. These cancers may
have "roots" in the skin, or along blood vessels, nerves, or cartilage.
Skin cancers that have recurred following previous treatment may send
out extensions deep under the scar tissue that has formed at the site.
Mohs surgery is specifically designed to remove these cancers by tracking
and removing those cancerous "roots." For this reason, prior to Mohs
surgery it is impossible to predict precisely how much skin will have
to be removed.
Insurance Coverage for Mohs Surgery
Most insurance policies cover the costs of Mohs surgery and the
reconstruction of the resultant surgical area. Please contact your insurance
carrier directly for the most current payment information relative to this surgery.
Patient Preparation for Surgery
If you are taking prescription medications, continue to take these unless
otherwise directed by a physician. However, you should inform your Mohs surgeon if
you are taking blood-thinning medications such as coumadin, Plavix, aspirin,
aspirin substitutes (such as Advil, Motrin, Nafton, Naprosyn, etc.), vitamin E, gingko,
garlic, ginseng, ginger, ephedra, or other nutritional supplements. These medications
and supplements can sometimes cause an increased chance of bleeding after surgery.
It is important that you obtain a good night's rest and eat normally on the day of
your surgery. For your comfort, it is recommended that you wear casual, layered clothing.
You may also wish to bring a light snack and a book or magazine to help occupy your time.
We also have small MP3 players prepared for our patients. It may be advisable to arrange
for someone to drive you home following surgery, if necessary.
Duration of Procedure
Most Mohs cases can be completed in three or fewer stages, requiring less than four hours.
However, it is not possible to predict how extensive a cancer will be, as the extent of a skin
cancer's "roots" cannot be estimated in advance. Therefore, it is advisable to reserve the
entire day for this surgical procedure, in case the removal of additional layers is required.
Most patients do not complain of significant pain. If there is discomfort, normally only
Tylenol is required for relief. However, stronger pain medications are available and will be
prescribed when needed. You may experience some bruising and swelling around the wound. After
your treatment, you will receive an after-care kit from our office. Follow these
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