Dermatology & Laser Center of San Diego
Dermatologists located in Hillcrest, San Diego, CA & Chula Vista, CA
Mohs surgery is a state-of-the-art technique used to effectively remove skin cancers while minimizing scarring. At the Dermatology & Laser Center of San Diego, our doctors are skilled in the use of the Mohs surgical technique and other state-of-the-art techniques and approaches that ensure each patient receives optimal care.
Mohs Surgery Q & A
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a type of surgery performed using continual microscopic evaluation to ensure a cancerous lesion is completely removed while preserving as much tissue as possible. The technique was developed more than 70 years ago and is still considered the preferred approach for the treatment of many types of skin cancers, especially those that occur on the face or other visible areas, since it helps ensure the smallest possible scar.
What happens during the procedure?
Mohs surgery begins with administration of a local anesthetic to numb the area around the lesion. Once the area is numb, the doctor will remove the visible part of the lesion and send it to an on-site lab for immediate evaluation. In some surgeries, the tissue may be evaluated in the room where the surgical procedure is being performed. Once under a microscope, the tissue edges will be evaluated to ensure all cancerous material has been removed. If the lab evaluation finds some cancerous cells extend beyond the edge of the tissue, the doctor will remove more tissue in that specific area and send the newly removed tissue for evaluation. Once the lab results indicate all the edges, or borders, of the removed tissue are free of cancer cells, the incision site will be closed. This approach ensures all the cancer cells are removed while also keeping the incision and any resulting scar as small as possible.
Can Mohs surgery tell if my cancer has spread?
No; in more aggressive cancers such as melanoma that are known to spread, your doctor may recommend having your lymph nodes biopsied or undergoing other diagnostic procedures to ensure the cancer has not spread elsewhere.
Will I be able to drive home after the procedure?
Yes; Mohs surgery uses only a local anesthetic, so you should be able to drive yourself home.
Major Insurance Providers Accepted
We accept all PPO insurance plans. Our primary PPOs are Tricare, Healthnet, Cigna, Aetna, Anthem Bluevross, Blueshield of California, United Healthcare, First Health, Pacificare, and Beech Street. If your insurance plan is not listed, please contact our office.
We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, and CareCredit.
Words from our patients
"The entire experience with Dr. Willoughby and his office/medical staff was excellent. I feel well taken care of in their care."
"I would highly recommend Dr. Mafong and his staff. They are very friendly and have your best interest at heart. It's a very easy going, comfortable environment."
"The whole patient/doctor appointment went very smoothly for my FIRST VISIT! Actually looking forward to my next annual visit! Would not hesitate to recommend!"