STEP 1 & 2 The Mohs surgeon removes a small piece of tissue just around the visible tumor on the skin surface. The tissue is immediately examined with a microscope to identify any cancerous roots that extend beyond the visible boundaries of the tumor.
STEP 3 If any remaining cells from the tissue sample are identified by microscope, their location will be mapped out with the aid of the microscope. Our example above reveals no tumor extending to the periphery of three of the mapped sections, however the exam identifies residual tumor at approximately the 5 o’clock position.
STEP 4 The Mohs surgeon will then return to the area of the remaining tumor cells as indicated by the map and remove another thin layer of tissue just from the specific section where cancer cells were detected.
STEP 5 The process continues until no further cancerous cells are identified. By taking the tissue in thin layers and examining each with the microscope, the Mohs technique ensures that all the cancerous tissue is removed and prevents the unnecessary removal of healthy tissue.