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Mohs surgery

Kishwer Nehal, MD
Erica Lee, MD
Section Editor
Stanley J Miller, MD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is a specialized surgical technique for removing locally invasive, high-risk skin cancers. MMS provides high cure rates with maximal preservation of unaffected tissue [1-4]. In contrast to standard excision, in which only a small portion of the margins are evaluated, in MMS, specimens are cut in horizontal sections that allow the evaluation of the entire peripheral and deep margins of the tumor.

The most common malignancies treated with MMS are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). MMS is also used to remove other skin malignancies such as dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), microcystic adnexal carcinoma, extramammary Paget disease (EMPD), and lentigo maligna.

The MMS technique and its indications will be discussed in this topic review. Alternative treatments for skin tumors are discussed separately.

(See "Treatment of basal cell carcinomas at high risk for recurrence".)

(See "Recognition and management of high-risk (aggressive) cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma".)

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 14, 2017.
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