Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Mohs surgery is an advanced surgical technique that precisely removes many forms of skin cancer while preserving healthy surrounding tissue. It is done as an outpatient surgery under local anesthesia by dermatology surgeons. In many cases, this surgery is done at your first appointment at Stanford, following a skin biopsy to get a diagnosis. Mohs surgery may be used to treat melanoma on the face, scalp, or ears that involves the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and is called melanoma in situ (mainly lentigo maligna type). The procedure can completely remove the melanoma while sparing as much normal skin around the tumor as possible. Mohs surgery is generally not indicated for melanomas that extend deeper into the skin.
The Mohs technique allows us to:
Remove all cancerous cells, including those that may go deeper like a tree's roots and would otherwise be hard to see
Spare as much healthy tissue as possible
Other benefits include:
A high cure rate
A procedure that can be completed in an outpatient office in less than a day
A pain-free procedure that uses local anesthesia. This leads to a shorter recovery time at the clinic and less risk, especially for younger and older patients.
Not every skin cancer patient is a candidate for Mohs micrographic surgery. Your melanoma may require a more traditional surgery. Your doctor will discuss the options with you and choose the approach that offers you the best outcome.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!