Mohs Surgery

What Is Mohs?

Micrographically oriented histography surgery is a surgical technique used to treat skin cancer that achieves maximal cure rates and minimal damage to healthy surrounding skin. Mohs was pioneered by Dr. Frederic and is an essential surgical technique used in treating skin cancer.

Mohs is used to treat many common types of skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Commonly treated areas include:

    • Face
    • Scalp
    • Ears
    • Hands/Feet
    • Genitalia

Mohs can also be used to treat other areas depending on the type of cancer and size of tumor.

Other reasons your provider may suggest a Mohs procedure include cancers that:

    • Have hard-to-define edges
    • Are large and/or growing quickly
    • Have a high risk of recurrence
    • Have previously been treated, but have now reoccurred

What To Expect?

During your visit, your Mohs team will confirm and mark the location of the cancer being treated by your surgeon. After the area has been clearly marked, the Mohs team will clean your skin and numb the area using a local anesthetic.

Your surgeon will begin the procedure by removing all visible cancer, as well as a margin of normal appearing skin around and below the tumor using a scalpel. The tissue is then taken to our in-house laboratory for analysis. Over the course of about thirty minutes to an hour, the tissue will be frozen, cut into thin layers, stained, and viewed under the microscope. If cancer cells are still present in the tissue, the surgeon will return and take another layer where the cancer remains, leaving normal healthy tissue in place. This process is repeated until the cancer is fully removed.

Once the tissue is clear of cancer, your surgeon will decide how to repair the procedure site. Most repairs are performed by the Mohs surgeon the same day the cancer is removed. There is a wide variety of closure techniques and your surgeon will work with you to determine the best option.

What To Bring To Your Visit:

Some Mohs cases require only one layer to clear the cancer, while others require additional layers. It is impossible to know exactly how long the procedure will take and it's recommended not to plan anything else on the day of your procedure.

To keep yourself comfortable, we recommend bringing the following items to your Mohs procedure:

    • Phone charger
    • Snacks and water
    • Blanket or sweater
    • Book, iPad, or puzzle book


Is the procedure going to be painful?

The area will be numbed using a local anesthetic prior to the start of the procedure. Additional anesthetic is used as needed during the surgery. Once this medication is active, you will feel pressure, but no pain during the surgery. Your Mohs team will provide you with detailed instructions for managing postoperative discomfort after the procedure is complete.

Will I be able to drive myself home?

Yes. After your procedure is complete, you will be able to drive yourself home. However, if your surgery is near the eye, we ask that you arrange for a ride home, as the initial bandage can obstruct your vision.

How do I take care of my wound site?

The Mohs team will review post-op instructions with you after your procedure is complete. You will also receive instruction to take home and can download additional pre-op instructions below.

Resources For Your Visit:

Mohs Pre-Op Instructions.pdf

Mohs General Wound Care.pdf

Mohs Wound Care For Legs.pdf

Mohs Suture Removal and Wound Care Information.pdf

Educational Videos:

Mohs Surgery

Mohs Post-Op Care


If you have additional questions about your Mohs procedure, please contact our office at 505-896-2900. 

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Office Hours


7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm