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Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs surgery is a special type of skin cancer surgery, named after its inventor, Dr. Frederic Mohs. Mohs surgery involves the surgical removal of skin cancer with a special technique where all of the skin margins are evaluated with a microscope. It is a highly specialized procedure for the total removal of skin cancers. Dr. Carl Schanbacher is our Mohs Surgeon.

Dr. Carl Schanbacher joined Kuchnir Dermatology in 2007. Dr. Schanbacher previously served seven years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School where he was the chief of skin cancer surgery at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. He completed dermatology residency at the Mayo Clinic and a Mohs surgery fellowship at UCLA. He received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska and went to college at Colorado State University. He is board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery.

Mohs surgery allows for the total removal of a skin cancer in one day, with the advantage of finding out the results the same day. 100% of the margins of the skin removed are examined with a microscope, which reduces the possibility of having to “go back” to remove more skin later if all of the cancer was not removed.

Our Mohs surgeons at Kuchnir Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery will examine your skin cancer under a microscope, allowing us to pinpoint the area where there is skin cancer remaining. If we observe any skin cancer under the microscope, we can then remove this cancer only from the involved areas in a second or third layer (the same day) if needed.

Because we examine all of the margins of the skin removed, the percentage of success is very high, often 95%-98%, even if other previous treatments have failed. However, no one can guarantee a 100% chance of cure. Also, because we only remove tissue where we see skin cancer with the microscope, we remove as little normal tissue as possible.

We, and your referring physician, are happy to further explain the risks, benefits and alternatives for treatment of your skin cancer, and why we believe Mohs surgery is the best treatment option for you.

Advantages of Mohs Surgery

  1. Sleep well the night before, and eat a light breakfast before coming to our office.

  2. Take all of your regular medications, including any blood thinners, unless specifically instructed not to do so by our office.

  3. Bring a book, magazine, laptop, or other form of entertainment, as you should expect to spend the day in our office.

  4. Dress comfortably in loose clothing. Bring a sweater in case you get cold.

  5. You may want to bring a snack and/or lunch, as the procedure can last all day.

  6. Have someone available to pick you up from our office when the procedure is completed (we will let you know about 30 minutes prior to the end of the procedure).

Checklist for the Day of:

Mohs Paperwork

If you did not receive a packet by mail, please be sure to print and fill out the above form. Please bring this to your appointment.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office at 508-478-2610. Thank you very much, and we look forward to caring for you here at Kuchnir Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery.

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