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Mohs Surgery

Arizona has the unenviable distinction of being the skin cancer capital of the United States. Many people here have had excessive sun exposure (UV damage), often leading to skin cancer. Although large skin cancers are readily visible on the skin surface, to remove them completely requires microscopic examination to visualize the cancer at a cellular level. In Mohs surgery, or frozen section removal, this microscopic examination is performed immediately, while you wait in the office. The advantage of this technique is that it provides the best chance of removing the skin cancer completely, while minimizing the amount of normal skin removed. After the skin cancer is completely removed, the wound is carefully reconstructed to preserve as much normal function as possible and to achieve a good cosmetic result.
Before and after Mohs surgery photos

Three Main Types of Skin Cancers

Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common skin cancer and is typically found on sun exposed areas such as the face, ears, and arms. It is often flesh-toned to reddish in color and can be a pearly, nodular bump or a raw, ulcerated sore. Fortunately, it grows slowly, but if left untreated, it can cause extensive local destruction of tissue.

Squamous cell: This may appear as a red bump or non-healing sore in sun exposed areas. Compared to basal cell carcinoma, it is more aggressive in growth and has more potential to spread internally to other organs.

Melanoma: This is the least common, but most aggressive, skin cancer. If caught early, the cure rate is excellent, but in more advanced stages it is often fatal. It usually appears as a red to black spot or bump, which may be a new lesion or a change in an existing mole. Remember the ABCDs of abnormal moles: Asymmetry; Border which is notched, irregular, or blurry; Color which is dark, uneven, or multicolored; and Diameter greater than 6 mm, or about the size of a pencil eraser. Melanoma may be completely flat and smooth, or raised.

Additional Information

It is thought that much of the UV damage we get occurs by the time we are 18 years old. However, further damage can be prevented by using a sunblock containing zinc oxide daily, wearing sun protective clothing and a hat, and avoiding sun exposure from 10 am to 4 pm. In addition to knowing the signs of skin cancer, one should also have a skin exam performed by a dermatologist annually.

About Faces Cosmetic Surgery is located in Tucson, Arizona. Our facility is renowned for its state of the art cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery procedures. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.

To Learn More About Mohs Surgery in Tucson

To learn more about Mohs Surgery, please contact the office of Tucson cosmetic surgeon Dr. Mikel Lo. Subscribe to our email list to receive updates about cosmetic procedures and treatments. Call (520) 877-2725 to speak with the staff of About Faces Cosmetic Surgery in Tucson, AZ.