Mohs Micrographic Surgery


Skin cancer is the most common malignant tumor in humans. The tumors often extend far beyond what is visible on the surface of the skin. If these tumors are not removed, they can invade and destroy structures in their path.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is the procedure of choice for treating skin cancer. Mohs surgery allows for the selective removal of tumors with the preservation of as much of the surrounding normal tissue as possible. It offers the highest chance for complete removal of the cancer while sparing normal tissue because it precisely maps the location of the cancer. The cure rate for new cancers with the Mohs procedure exceeds 97%.

How It Works

After the visible portion of the tumor is removed by excision, a thin layer of tissue is excised from the base of the site. Dr. Warmuth examines the tissue under a microscope to establish the location of the tumor. An additional layer of tissue is excised from the area and then the microscopic examination is repeated. This process is repeated until no tumor is found.

It usually takes about 15 minutes to numb the treatment area and remove the affected tissue. Processing the tissue in the lab takes 120-180 minutes, depending on the amount of tissue removed. During this time, your wound will be bandaged and you will be moved to the waiting room. If it’s determined during the examination that there is skin cancer left, more tissue will be removed. Most cancers are removed in one to three stages. After the procedure is completed, you will be provided with detailed home care instructions to follow.

Important Reminders from Dr. Warmuth’s Skin Care Center
  • DO let us know as soon as possible if you need to change or cancel your appointment
  • DO get a good night’s sleep before the day of surgery
  • DO eat a nutritious breakfast on the day of surgery
  • DO continue taking your usual medications unless otherwise instructed
  • DO wear a comfortable, button-down shirt
  • DO take a shower the night before your surgery, so your wound dressing can stay dry
  • DO feel free to ask questions
  • DO let staff know if you take blood thinners or antibiotics
  • DO bring a book to read and snacks or a brown bag lunch
  • DON’T wear make-up if the procedure will be performed on your face
  • DON’T take aspirin, ibuprofen, Ecotrin, or vitamins for ten days prior to the surgery,
    unless otherwise directed by Dr. Warmuth
  • DON’T consume alcohol 24 hours prior to and 48 hours after surgery

I have been seeing Dr. Warmuth for several years and thanks to her I have survived several skin cancers, two of them on the face and one was a melanoma. She is such a good skin surgeon, I can’t even find the scars anymore. I trust her with my family, and my life. Such a professional, caring doctor. Her staff is so helpful as well. They are just great. Thanks to all of you.

C.A., 45