What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery definition: Mohs surgery is skin cancer surgery. Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove the skin cancer, while causing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Watch this educational video about Mohs surgery.


Why MOHS Surgery?

Highest Cure Rate:

  • Mohs Surgery is recommended by international skin cancer guidelines for non-melanoma skin cancer at high risk for recurrence and at cosmetically sensitive and/or functionally important areas.
  • Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer – close to 100%.
  • Mohs surgery ensures complete cancer removal during surgery by evaluating 100% of the tumour margin. (Conventional frozen vertical sections assess less than 1% of the margin).

Best cosmetic and functional outcome:

The Mohs Surgery procedure minimizes the amount of healthy tissue lost resulting in smaller defects and maximizing the functional and cosmetic outcome resulting from surgery.

Most cost-e­ffective surgical skin cancer treatment:

Mohs Surgery and Reconstruction is a same day surgery performed under local anaesthetic in a day hospital.

  • Due to Mohs surgery’s high success rate, most patients require only a single surgery.
  • Most medical aids cover the procedure.
Excision for Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Excision for Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Conventional Excision
Conventional Excision

International skin cancer guidelines recommending Mohs Surgery for Non-melanoma skin cancer at high risk for recurrence and in cosmetic sensitive areas:

  • UptoDate
  • NCCN guidelines (USA)
  • UK National Multidisciplinary Guidelines, 2016
  • American Society for Dermatologic Surgery 2015
  • Canadian Non-melanoma Skin Cancer Guidelines Committee, 2015
  • Cancer Council Australia, 2008
  • British Association of Dermatologists, 2014
  • London Cancer Alliance, 2014
  • AAD/ACMS/ASDSA/ASMS Appropriate Use Criteria
  • British Association of Dermatologists Guidelines, 2008
  • Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) Rapid Response Report: (Summary with Critical Appraisal “Mohs Surgery for the Treatment of Skin Cancer: A Review of Guidelines”, 2019)
  • Guidelines of care for the management of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma JAAD, 2018
  • Guidelines of care for the management of basal cell carcinoma JAAD, 2018