What is Mohs?
Used to treat skin cancer because the surgeon can see where the cancer stops, thereby allowing the patient to keep as much healthy skin as possible.
Why Choose Mohs?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a state-of-the-art treatment for most types of skin cancers. The surgeon removes and analyzes cancerous tissues, layer by layer, until the cancer is removed. It offers the highest cure rates of any surgery (up to 99% for non-melanoma skin cancers), with minimal discomfort, and the greatest preservation of normal tissue (which means less scarring and superior cosmetic results).
Dr. Foster is fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery. Certification in this procedure requires extensive training and involves teaching the physician to act as the surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. We perform Mohs micrographic surgery on an outpatient basis, in a single day, under local anesthesia.
If left untreated, skin cancer can progress to the point that it is disfiguring or even life threatening. Early detection and treatment of skin cancers saves lives and minimizes the area of skin that needs to be removed and reconstructed.
Dr. K. Wade Foster
Dr. K. Wade Foster received his M.D and Ph.D. (Biochemistry) from the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency. He undertook his Procedural Dermatology Fellowship (in Mohs surgery) at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and the West Los Angeles V.A. Medical Center, where he received significant experience performing Mohs surgery for skin cancer. He has been in private practice at Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers since July 2008.
The Mohs Procedure
Step 1 When skin cancer is diagnosed, we know the tumor’s roots are deeper than we can see. We have to remove the roots to prevent a recurrence.
Step 2 The section of tumor we can see is surgically removed.
Step 3 A layer of skin is removed. The surgeon divides the tissue into segments, color-codes them with dye, and marks the skin to show where each section came from. The surgeon then draws a map of the surgical site.
Step 4 The surgeon examines the edges and underside of each segment with a microscope to see if any cancer cells remain.
Step 5 If cancer cells are identified with the microscope, the surgeon reviews the map and removes another layer of skin, but only from the precise place the remaining cancer cells were found.
Step 6 The procedure continues in this manner until all evidence of cancer is gone. By removing only tissue that contains cancer, the healthy skin remains intact and less scarring occurs.
Skin Cancer Risk Factors
- A history of sunburns and exposure to ultraviolet rays
- Fair skin, which burns easily
- Multiple moles or unusual moles
- Family history of skin cancer
- Weakened immune system
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
- Changes in mole shape or pigmentation
- Bleeding or oozing from a bump
- A new skin growth or an older growth that changes in size or shape
Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps
Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses
Use sunscreen and lip balm
Try to reduce outdoor time between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most direct
We perform Mohs micrographic surgery, excisional surgery, and radiation treatments. Our treatments remove the cancerous growth, minimize the risk of recurrence, and leave as little scarring as possible.