Mohs Micrographic & Reconstructive Surgery Near Chattanooga, TN
Dr. Jonathan Miller is among the few fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgeons in the region. In addition to skin cancer removal, his expertise includes advanced facial reconstructive techniques that minimize scarring and maximize cosmetic outcomes. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and are seeking treatment, contact Uderm to discuss the benefit of Mohs Micrographic Surgery at our dermatology office near Chattanooga, TN. To schedule your consultation, please call (423) 206-2777 or request an appointment through our secure online form.
Please view this 4-min tutorial by the American College of Mohs Surgery to learn more about the procedure:
Get a better understanding of Mohs Surgery and the steps to a quick recovery after the procedure. Watch this 9-minute video by the American College of Mohs Surgery for more information.
What is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized surgical technique that offers the highest cure rate among skin cancer treatments. It allows the surgeon to excise the tumor and immediately assess the margins under a microscope. After the cancer is definitively removed, the surgical defect is reconstructed during the same appointment, providing the patient with a convenient and optimal outcome.
In addition to performing Mohs surgery on basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, our facility employs an advanced technique called immunostaining. This allows us to perform Mohs surgery on melanoma (MART-1 stain), achieving the highest possible cure rate while minimizing scarring.
What Types of Skin Cancer are Treated with Mohs Surgery?
Patients with the two most common types of skin cancer will benefit from Mohs Surgery. These include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas (sometimes even melanomas).
It is especially beneficial for those with skin cancers on the face, ears, or genitals. It is highly successful for large lesions, those that are more aggressive, and those types which have a tendency to recur.
Mohs surgery boasts a higher rate of complete cancer removal compared to other methods. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that Mohs surgery can effectively cure up to 99% of skin cancers that haven’t been treated before and 94% of skin cancers that have returned after initial treatment.
What to Expect During Mohs Surgery
The Mohs procedure entails the step-by-step removal of skin cancer, with each layer being meticulously examined under a microscope until the tissue surrounding the tumor is free of cancer (referred to as clear margins). The key distinction between Mohs surgery and other skin cancer removal methods is the immediate and thorough microscopic examination and assessment of the removed tissue during a single office visit. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, thereby reducing the risks and expenses linked to general anesthesia. For a detailed explanation of the process, you can refer to the American College of Mohs Surgery website.
Skin cancers we treat with Mohs surgery:
What are the Advantages of Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery provides several advantages for people with skin cancer:
- Ensuring complete cancer removal during surgery and providing the highest success rates compared to other treatments
- Preserving the surrounding healthy tissue
- Maximizing the functional and cosmetic outcome resulting from surgery
- Skin cancer removal, confirmation of negative margins and repairing the site of the cancer removal in the same day/office appointment, in most cases
- Minimizes the risk of recurrence and therefore reduces and frequently eliminates the costs of larger, more serious surgeries for recurrent skin cancers
View our gallery to see the before and after images of Mohs Surgery.
Schedule a Consultation for Mohs Surgery in Chattanooga, TN
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and are exploring your surgical treatment options, contact board-certified Mohs surgeon Dr. Jonathan Miller to discuss your candidacy. Dr. Miller is among the few fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgeons in the region and will take the time to fully discuss your symptoms and determine the skin cancer treatment best for you. To schedule your consultation at our dermatology office near Chattanooga, TN, please call (423) 206-2777 or request an appointment through our secure online form.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mohs Surgery
We typically recommend avoiding activities for two weeks that will raise your heart rate or blood pressure. Such activities include exercising, manual labor, lifting heavy objects, and swimming. It is especially important to avoid these activities in the first week to reduce the risk of bleeding, swelling, and impaired wound healing.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient, awake procedure that most people tolerate very well. However, some skin cancers are larger or in locations that can be more serious and stressful to patients. For patients who are anxious about their procedure, we offer medications that can help relax them during the procedure.
It depends on the extent of surgery and type of reconstruction performed. However, many patients are able to return to work the next day. Patients who are needing to return to work quickly are advised that discomfort and swelling can persist for several days following surgery.
24 hours (unless otherwise directed in your post-operative instructions).
The length of a Mohs surgery depends on the location, size and type of tumor being removed. The majority of Mohs procedures last 2-3 hours. Some cases can be as quick as 1 hour. Rarely, cases can last as long as 8 hours. Lab processing is the bulk of the procedure time. During this time, patients wait comfortably in their room while the lab technician prepares the tissue to be read under the microscope by the Mohs surgeon.
The vast majority of patients are able to drive themselves home after surgery. Exceptions are when a patient receives “relaxing” medicine for the surgery or has a surgery near the eye which requires the eye to be covered after surgery.
Early basal cell carcinoma typically looks like a pink or shiny lesion that is either flat or raised. Sometimes it bleeds or itches, but typically is not painful.
Early squamous cell carcinoma typically presents as a red, raised, scaly area of skin. It can occasionally be painful.
Yes. With a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, the patient is able to conveniently undergo Mohs surgery and reconstruction at the same visit.
Most skin cancers, including melanoma, can be treated with Mohs surgery. However, Mohs surgery is not always indicated for low-risk skin cancers on the trunk or extremities. For these tumors, other options (ie, electrodessication and curettage, excision, or topical therapy) may be a better option. When skin cancers have spread to other organs (ie, metastasize), Mohs surgery is no longer a good treatment option because immunotherapy and other systemic agents are better-suited for widespread cancer.