Baton Rouge Mohs Surgery Q&A

When you hear “skin cancer” melanoma may immediately come to mind.  You’ve likely heard the alarming statistics about its various forms such as nodular or Stage IV.  And, while it is true that these are far more difficult to treat, they are also relatively rare across the board.  In all, malignant melanoma accounts for less than one percent of all diagnosed skin cancers, whereas the far less aggressive basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas make up the majority.

With the diagnosis of BCC, SCC, or even melanoma in its early stages, a recommendation of Mohs surgery is likely.  It’s become the gold standard of treatment, not only for its high cure rate of over 98 percent, but also for its ability to spare healthy tissue and minimize scarring.  Of course, even knowing of its incredible success, any patient undergoing any form of surgery will, and should, have questions.  Here are the answers to some you may have regarding Mohs:

What Makes Mohs Different?

Mohs surgery is different from all other skin cancer treatment options, because it allows the surgeon to examine tissue as it is being removed.  Layer by layer, the cancerous tissue is removed and examined until the site is found to have clear margins, entirely free of cancer cells.

How long does Mohs Surgery take?

The timeframe of Mohs surgery from one patient to the next cannot be predicted, as this depends on many variables such as size and location of the cancer, age and health of the patient, and experience of the physician.  In most cases, the entire Mohs procedure will take several hours.  This is longer than other forms of removal, but the results make the procedure well worth the added time investment.

Will Mohs Leave a Scar?

One of Mohs greatest benefits is that it minimizes scarring.  However, this does not mean that there will be no scar at all.  Instead, patients who receive Mohs will likely have a smaller, less noticeable scar than those who undergo different treatment options.  For Mohs surgeons, the cosmetic component is not overlooked, as their training and skill allow them to repair most removal sites impeccably.

Who can Perform Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery should only be performed by dermatologist who have been fellowship-trained in the procedure.  Over a timeframe of 1 -2 years, these physicians are required to perform 500 Mohs surgeries with the guidance of a veteran surgeon.  During this time, they refine their skill and technique through vast amounts of experience.  Locating one of these surgeons is a necessity for having Mohs.

In Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Dr. Chad Prather is one of the few fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons currently seeing patients.  In his many years of practice, Dr. Prather has completed over 15,000 Mohs procedures, making him one of the most experienced Mohs surgeons available to Louisiana skin cancer patients.

If you would like to learn more about Mohs or are concerned about the possibility of skin cancer, contact one of the Dermasurgery Center locations to request a consultation with Dr. Prather.

Chad Prather, M.D.MOHS