Skin Cancer Treatment

Patients are referred to our center after they have received a biopsy diagnosis of skin cancer.  During your consultation, Dr. Kauvar and her staff will review your medical history, your specific tumor diagnosis and explain the details of your surgery and, if required, possible options for reconstruction of your wound.

Dr. Kauvar is a fellowship-trained specialist in Mohs micrographic surgery.  This is a method for removing skin cancers using microscopic control to see the cancer cells while minimizing the amount of skin that is removed. As a result, this procedure provides the highest cure rates and, in most cases, the best cosmetic outcome.  Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancers treated using this technique.  Dr. Kauvar is a certified fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to train physicians in this procedure.

Mohs surgery is named after Dr. Frederick Mohs, a dermatologist who devised this technique in the 1960s.  The surgery is performed using local anesthesia.  A small piece of skin is removed around the biopsy site and is then prepared by a specially-trained histo-technician and placed, in microscopic-thin layers, on glass pathology slides.  While you rest in our patient lounge, Dr. Kauvar analyzes the slides of your skin cancer under a microscope to determine if all the cancerous cells have been removed.  If there are any remaining cells at any of the skin edges, their location is carefully mapped to a diagram.  Another layer of skin is removed from that specific location and is again analyzed.  This process is repeated until all the skin cancer cells have been removed.  After the tumor has been completely removed, Dr. Kauvar will discuss with you all of the options for wound closure or reconstruction.  In most cases, the wound is repaired on the same day as the Mohs surgery, but sometimes the suturing is delayed to obtain an optimal cosmetic outcome.  This process may take 2 to 4 hours or more, depending on how many layers of tissue are removed.  At the conclusion of your surgery, you will receive detailed instructions verbally and in writing on how to care for your wound.