Once the area is numb, Dr. Piloro will remove a thin layer of skin affected by the cancer. This is called Stage 1 and represents the first layer of skin that is mapped, divided, and color-coded.
This wound will be bandaged with gauze, and you will return to the waiting room. While you are waiting, Dr. Piloro and the histotechnicians will examine these tissue samples under a microscope to determine if tumor tentacles are left in the skin.
If the microscopic examination reveals that there is skin cancer remaining, Dr. Piloro will repeat the procedure as soon as possible. This second layer is called Stage II (note: if multiple stages are required, the Mohs procedure can take up a good percentage of the day). Because Stage I was divided, numbered, and color-coded, Dr. Piloro can determine exactly where residual cancer is left behind.
When the final stage of Mohs micrographic surgery is determined tumor-free, your skin cancer has been removed with a 99% cure rate for primary tumors and over 95% for recurrent tumors. You will be left with a skin defect that has clean margins (free of cancer).
The next phase of the procedure is the skin reconstruction. Dr. Piloro works closely with our oral surgeons who are experts at skin reconstruction, especially of the nose, ears, lips, and facial defects. They utilize highly advanced reconstructive techniques that show natural cosmetic results with minimal to no visible scarring.