Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Facing a skin cancer diagnosis can be stressful. Fortunately, Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery Institute (DCSI) offers Mohs micrographic surgery, a highly effective and precise treatment option. This specialized technique removes cancerous tissue one layer at a time, ensuring complete removal while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding skin. Mohs surgery for skin cancer boasts some of the highest cure rates, making it a valuable tool for patients seeking optimal outcomes. Below is more about the procedure, its benefits, and what to expect during treatment.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Developed in 1938 by a general surgeon, Frederic E. Mohs, Mohs surgery is a microscopically controlled procedure used to treat both common and rare types of skin cancer. The goal of the surgery is to remove the cancerous tissue. Mohs surgery is known for its high precision and effectiveness in removing cancerous lesions while minimizing damage to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

During Mohs micrographic surgery, the surgeon removes thin layers of skin tissue containing the cancerous cells and immediately examines them under a microscope. This process is repeated layer by layer until no more cancer cells are detected in the tissue, ensuring complete removal of the tumor while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.

Mohs skin cancer surgery is especially beneficial for skin cancers located in cosmetically sensitive areas (such as the face) or those with ill-defined borders, as it allows the surgeon to precisely target the cancerous cells while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. Additionally, evidence shows that Mohs surgery has high cure rates of up to 99% and is associated with lower recurrence rates compared to other surgical techniques.1

Overall, Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly effective option for the treatment of certain types of skin cancer, offering patients the best chance for cure with minimal scarring and optimal cosmetic outcomes.

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take?

For most individuals, Mohs surgery takes less than 4 hours, depending on the amount of cancerous tissue that needs to be removed. Some dermatologists advise their patients to plan for an all-day surgery, just in case, although it rarely takes that long. 

Additionally, keep in mind that every step of this process requires removing a thin layer of tissue, which is then examined under a microscope to determine whether cancer cells are present. Until all malignant cells are eliminated, which could require multiple cycles, this process is repeated throughout the process.

While some cases may be completed in a single day, others may require multiple days of surgery, especially if the tumor is large or located in a challenging area. Additionally, patients should plan for additional time for preparation, anesthesia, and post-operative care. Our dermatologists at DCSI ensure that each patient is comfortable throughout Mohs surgery and is given guidance for the recovery process. 

Mohs Surgery Recovery

Recovery time for Mohs micrographic surgery can depend on where the procedure was performed, the size of the area where the procedure was performed, and how many layers of tissue were removed. Typically, Mohs surgery on the face in small areas may fully heal in 4 to 6 weeks, whereas larger wounds or those on the scalp, back, or other parts of the body may take up to 8 to 10 weeks. 

Some Mohs surgery aftercare tips we encourage patients to follow include: 

  • Maintain the treated area dry and clean.
  • To manage pain or prevent infections, take prescribed medications as directed.
  • Refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous activities for several days or as long as your medical provider suggests.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments to have any stitches removed and have your wounds checked.
  • Use sunscreen and protective clothes to keep the treated area out of the sun.
  • Inform your healthcare provider as soon as possible about any unusual symptoms or concerns.

Whether you’re working with a DCSI dermatologist in Delray Beach or Wellington, our professionals offer expert treatment and aftercare to decrease the risk of any complications post-op. If you’re concerned about any abnormal markings or growths on your skin, don’t hesitate to contact DCSI now to set up a consultation and begin treatment.  

Finding Mohs Surgery Near Me

Ready to take the next step toward optimal skin health? Whether you’re seeking expert consultation or considering Mohs micrographic surgery, our dedicated team at DCSI is here to help. Contact our Delray Beach or Wellington dermatology office today to schedule your consultation and explore the benefits of Mohs surgery for effective skin cancer treatment. We also encourage you to check out our dermatologist blog for additional information. Your journey to healthier skin starts here.


  1. YaleMedicine – Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer