Make the most
‘The “Gold Standard” surgical method used worldwide for the most effective removal of skin cancers is Mohs surgery, which went through an extensive process of development in the United States of America,’ says Dr Pieter du Plessis, who is based at the Club Surgical Centre in Hazelwood, Pretoria.
Mohs surgery is an economical, precise and sophisticated technique that eradicates skin cancers.
‘What is critical about skin cancer is that you must get rid of it completely, to minimise any chance of recurrence, and Mohs surgery does just that. After Mohs surgery you can assure the patient that the margins around the cancer is free of tumour,’ he says.
With the Mohs Surgery technique, performed in most cases under a local anaesthetic, the tumour is removed with a thin layer of surrounding healthy tissue. The removed tissue is then processed immediately by the Mohs surgeon in a Mohs histological laboratory on site, while the patient returns to the ward.
The specific method of processing allows tissue slides to be produced that shows the whole, complete cut surface around the tumour. These slides are then examined by the Mohs surgeon and will show very accurately any remaining tumour, including the exact area on the tumour wound where tumour is still present.
The patient then returns to the day theater and process is repeated, but only on the area of remaining tumour, leaving the healthy tumour-free part of the wound alone. As soon as the Mohs surgery confirms the skin cancer to be completely removed, a specialist reconstructive surgeon or the Mohs surgeon repairs the defect where the cancer was removed almost always on the same day.