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Mohs Surgery

Medical, Surgical, and Cosmetic Dermatology Located in Southwest Austin, TX
Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is one of the most effective treatments for most types of skin cancer, delivering a 99% cure rate for cancers caught early. Double board-certified dermatologists and fellowship-trained mohs surgeon Chelsey Straight, MD, FAAD, and the team at Pure Dermatology in Austin, Texas, specialize in Mohs surgery. The team works together to carefully remove cancerous lesions, ensuring every trace of cancer is gone during your procedure. Call the dermatology center today or schedule an appointment online to learn whether Mohs surgery is right for you.

Mohs Surgery Q & A

What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is an effective skin cancer treatment that removes malignant (cancerous) lesions in stages to ensure all traces of cancer cells are gone. Performing Mohs surgery requires extensive training. With a double board-certified and fellowship-trained dermatologic surgeon, the team can successfully cure many types of skin cancer with Mohs surgery.


Which types of skin cancer can Mohs surgery treat?

Mohs surgery treats multiple types of skin cancers, including:

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the least aggressive type of skin cancer. It starts in basal cells in the surface layer of skin called the epidermis. Most basal cell carcinomas develop in sun-exposed areas of skin, like the face, scalp, neck, and chest. They usually appear as flat, scaly, or waxy lesions and rarely spread to other areas.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Also common in areas exposed to the sun, squamous cell carcinomas look like red sores, raised growths, or thickened areas of skin. Most squamous cell carcinomas aren’t life-threatening but can be aggressive and spread to other areas of the body.


Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. It usually stems from an abnormal mole. Mohs surgery can treat certain types of melanoma that have not grown or metastasized (spread).


How do I prepare for Mohs surgery?

Taking a few extra steps to prepare for Mohs surgery can help ensure a positive outcome and comfortable recovery:

  • Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds several weeks before
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing the day of surgery
  • Coordinate transportation
  • Quit smoking

Eat a healthy meal before you arrive and bring a book or activity to keep you occupied, as the procedure can take more than three hours.


What happens during Mohs surgery?

After administering an anesthetic, your mohs surgeon marks the area of your biopsy with a pen. Next, they use a scalpel to remove a thin layer of the lesion and examine it under a microscope. The team uses microscopic analysis to help determine the next steps. 

Once they receive your pathology report, they draw a map on your skin to section and color code the treatment area for the most precise procedure possible. This step ensures the team can preserve your healthy tissue while removing all traces of cancer.

The team continues removing the cancerous lesion in layers and examining each section under a microscope until all cancer cells are gone. Finally, they suture your wound. Depending on the size and location of the lesion, the team may recommend laser or light therapy to treat any scarring you have after surgery.

Call Pure Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about Mohs surgery.