What to expect with the Mohs procedure
- Mohs surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in The University of Arizona Cancer Center – North Campus office. There is an on-site surgical suite and a laboratory for immediate examination of tissue under a microscope. Surgery usually starts in the morning and is completed the same day, depending on the size of the tumor.
- The patient is awake during the entire procedure and local anesthesia is used around the area of the tumor to minimize discomfort. After the area has been numbed, the Mohs surgeon removes the visible tumor along with a thin layer of surrounding tissue. This tissue is placed on slides and examined under a microscope by the Mohs surgeon. If there is evidence of cancer in the sample, another layer of tissue is taken from the area where the cancer was detected. This ensures that only cancerous tissue is removed during the procedure, and minimizes the loss of healthy tissue. These steps are repeated until the tissue removed is free of cancer.