Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is the most advanced treatment for skin cancer. Under the direction of Sheetal Mehta, MD, the Mohs Micrographic Surgery Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has incorporated this state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment into its comprehensive set of services.
The Mohs procedure allows the surgeon to trace skin cancer down to its roots, enabling complete removal. The procedure allows us to see beyond the visible disease and precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving the healthy tissue intact and unharmed.
What is Mohs?
Mohs is a microscopic surgical technique that removes individual layers of cancerous tissue. The visible part of any form of skin cancer may be the smallest part of the tumor that exists underneath. With the Mohs technique, as the tissue is removed, it is examined layer by layer until all the cancerous tissue has been removed, while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Mohs involves three steps:
Removal: During removal, the Mohs surgeon removes tissue from the site and searches for evidence of extended cancer roots.
Examination of tissue: Once the evident tumor is removed, the doctor traces the path of the tumor using a map of the surgical site and a microscope to examine the excised tissue.
Reconstruction: Once all the cancerous tissue is removed, the surgeon reconstructs the area with aesthetics in mind. Some wounds heal on their own, while other require stitches to close the wound.
What are the advantages of Mohs?
It has the highest cure rate of any existing procedure.
It preserves the maximum amount of normal skin resulting in smaller scars.
It involves fewer reconstructive procedures.
Mohs minimizes risk of recurrence, eliminating costs of more invasive and serious surgery.
The procedure is performed in the surgeon's outpatient clinic surgical suite, with pathologic examinations conducted immediately.
Surgery is often completed in a single day
What are the indicators for Mohs surgery?
Cancer is in a difficult area where it is important to preserve the healthy tissue for functional and cosmetic results, especially head, neck, hands, genitalia, lips eyelids, nose, ears and fingers.
Cancer has been previously treated and has recurred.
Cancer is large.
Cancer has indistinct borders.
Cancer is growing rapidly.
Cancer has formed in an area of extensive scar tissue.
Sheetal Mehta, MD, is an assistant professor and director of Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery in the Department of Dermatology at Rush University Medical Center. Mehta is board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
Prior to coming to Rush, Mehta was an assistant professor in the Division of Dermatology, Mohs, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery at Loyola University Medical Center and Mohs micrographic and dermatologic surgeon at the Edward Hines Jr., Veterans Hospital in Maywood, Ill.
She is a graduate of Cornell University in New York, where she received her bachelor's degree in biology with highest honors. She received her medical degree as a member of AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society) and interned in internal medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mehta completed her residency training in dermatology at the University of Minnesota. She completed a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery, lasers and cosmetics at the Center for Surgical Dermatology in Columbus, Ohio. Mehta is an associate member of the American College of Mohs surgery and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Mehta will provide skin cancer treatment services at Rush's Chicago campus and the dermatology satellite locations located in Westmont and Skokie.