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Everything you need to know

Mohs surgery is an effective, surgical skin cancer treatment, most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). The Mohs procedure allows us to map excision margins microscopically and works by removing the tumor gradually in small layers and examining the tissue until all the cancerous cells have been removed. This precise removal technique leaves as much healthy tissue as possible as the entire margins are being checked, and allows us to be confident the cancer has been completely removed.

Mohs Surgery on the Nose | Skin Cancer Specialist | Dermatologist Clinic in Oxford, Cheltenham and Wimbledon


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During MOHs surgery, local anaesthetic is applied to freeze the treatment area. The surgeon then uses a scalpel to remove the part of the tumor that can be seen along with a thin layer of tissue underneath. The tissue sample is taken to the lab and processed by a biomedical scientist before it is examined by the doctor under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells still in the tissue. If cancer is detected in the layer, another thin layer of tissue is removed and examined. This process continues until the margins are negative, meaning the tissue layer contains no cancerous cells and there is a surrounding margin of healthy tissue. Each round of surgery and examination takes about an hour so treatment length will depend on how many layers need to be removed.

As this procedure is done in stages, all cancerous cells are able to be removed, sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar. This makes Mohs surgery ideal for areas where preserving as much normal tissue is important, such as the lips, ears and eyelids. Mohs surgery is also used to treat skin cancers which are difficult to see with the naked eye or those which have come back after previous treatment.

By using this labour intensive method, only the tissue where cancer is present is removed and there is excellent preservation of the normal skin. After the cancer has been fully removed, the surgeon will determine the type of repair for the best cosmetic result.


Skin Cancer Treatment at Stratum Dermatology Clinic Oxford

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Skin Cancer Treatment at Stratum Dermatology Clinic Wimbledon and Raynes Park

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with over 400 people being diagnosed every day. Early detection of skin cancer, through examination and regular monitoring of moles, saves lives and if caught and treated early enough there is a 100% chance of survival. Dr Neil Walker, Clinical Lead at Stratum Dermatology clinics pioneered Mohs surgery in the UK and maintains an active interest in this area. His expertise is shared with consultant dermatologists across Stratum Dermatology clinics.

We work with leading experts in the field of dermatology to ensure you have the best experience and treatment. Stratum clinics are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, are part of the British Association of Dermatologists and are top rated by patients on Doctify. Both Stratum Dermatology Clinics and the consultants who work here are recognised by the main healthcare insurance providers.


“Excellent treatment. I have had 2 basal cell carcinomas on my face removed using Mohs surgery and now after 2 months it is difficult to see any sign of the scars. In addition there is peace of mind knowing that as far as possible all of the BCC was removed in one go.”


How do I book MOHS surgery?

Please book a consultation with one of our consultant dermatologists either via the enquiry form on the website or by giving our clinic a call. Your condition will be assessed and recommended treatment options provided.

Do I need to stay in hospital overnight following MOHS treatment?

You will usually be able to return home on the day of the operation and we suggest that you bring a relative or friend with you to accompany you.

What pain relief is available during MOHs surgery?

The surgery is carried out using local anaesthesia unless an alternative has been discussed with you. You will therefore be awake during the operation however the area being operated on will be numbed so you should feel no discomfort. Some patients may receive pre-medication which will bring on some drowsiness.

Do I need to do anything before my MOHs surgery?

Please abstain from alcohol and avoid all medications containing Aspirin for five days prior to surgery. Unless advised to the contrary, on the day of surgery, please take any regular medications and eat a normal breakfast.

What do I do while I am waiting for the samples to be tested in the lab?

While the removed tissue is being tested for cancerous cells in the lab, you will be able to relax in your room or cubicle. Please bring something to read and Wi-Fi is available. Refreshments are available or you may prefer to bring a snack with you.

Will my wound need repairing after surgery?

Depending where the tumor is situated, during your consultation the doctor will have discussed the possible options for repair after the tumour is removed. It may be that the repair will be done during the same appointment once the tumor has been removed or it may be that another surgeon will carry out the procedure at another time. If the wound does not need any further treatment and is to heal naturally, you will be given instructions on the care routine you need to follow.


Please fill in this form and one of our team will give you a call back to arrange a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists.