Mohs Surgery in Austin

Westlake Dermatology provides Mohs surgery at our Alamo Heights, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Marble Falls, Onion Creek, and Westlake locations. Our Mohs surgeons, Peggy Chern, MD, Hubert Chodkiewicz, MD, Nikki Dietert, MD, and Lauren Rimion, MD are Board Certified Dermatologists and fellowship trained in Mohs surgery.

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is the most advanced and effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer that combines the surgical removal of the tumor with the immediate microscopic examination of the tumor and underlying diseased tissue. This process allows for the immediate identification, removal, and examination of the entire tumor and roots layer-by-layer until the cancer is completely gone.

Mohs surgery has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer, with a cure rate of up to 99% for certain cancers. Mohs surgery provides the most precise method for removal of all cancerous tissue, while sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue. For this reason, Mohs surgery typically results in a significantly smaller surgical defect and less noticeable scarring, as compared to other methods of skin cancer treatment.

What should the patient expect during treatment?

The area to be treated is numbed and the visible portion of the tumor is surgically removed. The tissue underneath the tumor is removed and processed one layer at a time and the margins of the tumor are checked with each layer. The process is repeated while the patient waits until the cancer is removed. Each layer takes approximately an hour to process, so patients should expect to be at the clinic for at least four or five hours. During that time they are welcome to read or use a laptop.

Depending on the size of the area that was removed, the patient has several post-surgical options. A small, simple wound may be able to heal on its own or, if slightly larger, with stitches. If the wound is larger in size, a skin graft or flap may be required.

Click Here to see a Mohs surgery case study.

What kind of skin cancer can be treated?

Mohs surgery is commonly used to treat Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas. It is the treatment of choice for recurring cancers, large cancers, cancers where the edges cannot be clearly defined, or in areas where it is important to preserve healthy tissue for the maximum functional and cosmetic results (such as cancer on the face).

Testimonials from real Mohs Surgery patients

“Very caring and attentive to my well being. I felt comfortable throughout the process, not rushed and Dr. Peggy Chern was delightful in personality and informing throughout the surgical procedure. I liked Dr. Chern’s technique and ‘light’ touch, but precise and quick in the Mohs surgical procedure.”  — Linda G. (December 3, 2014)

“Dr. Chern is very good at thinking on her feet during the Mohs procedure. She communicated what she was going to do at each stage.  She did an amazing job of stitching up my wound for an excellent cosmetic result. I didn’t think it was possible to do what she did.”  — Herchel V. (November 20, 2014)

“I have been very pleased with your entire process  during a time when I have experienced repeated Mohs procedures. Your staff and physicians have made my experience much less stressful. Thank you.”  — Charlotte J. (August 8, 2013)

Additional Mohs Surgery Resources