Mohs Micrographic Surgery in Miami
Dr. Zaiac performing Mohs Surgery on Actual Patient
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery is a state-of-the-art treatment for skin cancer in which the treating physician serves as surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. The procedure relies on the precision and accuracy of a microscope to trace and remove all of the skin cancer down to its roots. This procedure allows the surgeon to see beyond the visible disease and precisely identify and remove all of the cancer. If microscopic analysis still shows evidence of disease, the removal process continues layer-by-layer until the cancer is all gone.
This technique ensures that only the diseased tissue is removed while preserving the healthy, normal tissue. Mohs surgeons are dermatologists with extensive knowledge and training in the field of skin and its healing properties.They are also highly-trained in reconstructive surgery and can perform any necessary reconstructive procedure at the time of surgery.
When compared to other treatments for skin cancer, Mohs Micrographic Surgery offers the highest cure rate (about 100%), has the lowest chance of re-growth, minimizes the potential for scarring, and is the most exact and precise means of removing skin cancer.
At Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, our dermatologists can advise you if Mohs surgery is appropriate for you. Generally, Mohs surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia.
New Section skin cancer types prevention and treatments: click here.
Short-Term Mole Monitoring
Short-term mole monitoring is an additional diagnostic tool used for the early detection of Melanoma. It is typically used to monitor a single suspicious growth or suspicious legions that lacks definite dermatoscopic features of Melanoma. The technique is most often used for changing moles that appear benign with dermatoscopy, or in the case of certain suspicious moles that have no history of clinical change.
A high resolution digital dermatoscopic image is taken and then photographed again after a three-month interval. Studies have verified that unchanged lesions are benign and those that demonstrate change are likely malignant.
Ultimately, short-term mole monitoring allows for the detection of melanoma at its earliest stage and helps to avoid unnecessary excisions.
How do I protect my skin from the sun?
If you use common sense and take care to Be Sun Smart®, you can safely work and play outdoors without increasing skin cancer risk or premature aging. It is never too late to start protecting your skin. Still love that sun-kissed glow? Skip the suntan and go for cosmetic bronzers to achieve the look without the damage.
Video: How Mohs Cancer Surgery Procedure Works
Here’s How to Play Sun Smart®
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin and re-apply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Protect children and babies from sun exposure by playing in the shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen. You babies cannot tell you they are getting burned.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand as they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Get your vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
- Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changes, growths, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist.
What is Skin Cancer?
Cancers develop in the body when certain types of cells begin to grow abnormally. Skin cancer, the most common type of cancer, involves the abnormal growth of one of the various types of cells that make up the epidermis. Abnormal cell growth is the result of damage to the DNA that is related to that type of cell.
What Are the Different Types of Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer most often develops in the squamous cells, the basal cells, or the melanocytes.
- Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the flat cells that make up the uppermost layer of the epidermis.
- Basal cell carcinoma develops in the round cells that make up the second layer of the epidermis.
- Melanoma develops in the melanocyte cells that produce melanin in the lower layers of the epidermis.
What Are the Causes of Skin Cancer?
The most common forms of skin cancer are all related to DNA damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Your skin absorbs UV rays from the sunshine (even when you’re in a car). Tanning beds and lamps work via ultraviolet light, too. The more exposure you have to these rays of light, especially without sunscreen, the higher your risk of skin cancer becomes.
What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?
No two skin cancers may look the same. The best way to identify a cancerous growth on your skin is to look for what is dubbed the “ugly duckling” on your skin. If you have several moles or spots, but one does not share the same characteristics of size, color, borders, and texture, with the others, it should be checked by your dermatologist.
Moles and spots on the skin should not be larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser. The borders of various growths should be defined, not ragged. Spots should be symmetrical, matching from one side to the other. Growths that bleed, itch, or display other symptoms are considered abnormal, as are spots that have more than one color. Finally, if a growth changes over time, it’s wise to have it examined.
How is Skin Cancer Diagnosed?
Your board-certified dermatologist knows the visual signs of skin cancer. They also know how to evaluate other symptoms that you report, such as bleeding or itching. With a thorough symptom review and physical examination, your doctor may loosely diagnose skin cancer. To confirm the diagnosis, they may perform a minor tissue biopsy. This test obtains some of the cells that are contained in the growth. The cells are sent to a lab for pathology testing.
What Are My Treatment Options for Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor can discuss your treatment options based on the location and severity of your growth. Some common treatment options for skin cancer include:
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Excision using local anesthetic and a scalpel
- Mohs micrographic surgery
- Photodynamic therapy utilizing medication and light
- Topical, oral, or intravenous chemotherapy
- Radiation therapy
Receiving a skin cancer diagnosis can be unsettling, we understand. We’ll spend time with you to explore the various treatments that we believe will work quickly and effectively to restore your dermatologic health as well as your peace of mind!
When should I see a dermatologist?
You should see a dermatologist a minimum of once a year. If you notice that a mole differs from another or a spot on your skin changes, itches, or bleeds (even if it is small), immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist. These changes can be signs of skin cancer. With early detection and treatment, skin cancer has a high cure rate.
If you are unhappy with the signs of aging on your skin due to too many days at the beach, talk to your dermatologist. He or she can tell you about different options that can help minimize or even reverse past damage. You can schedule an appointment with us below, our office looks forward to receiving your call.