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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2001 Aug;26(4):265-73.

Mohs micrographic surgery for facial skin cancer.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Gooi Noord Hospital, Blaricum, The Netherlands.


Although it is well established that conventional treatment modalities generally result in high cure rates for non-melanoma skin cancer, it has been demonstrated over recent decades that the highest overall cure rates are achieved using Mohs micrographic surgery. The key to Mohs surgery is the excision and control of complete peripheral and deep resection margins in one plane, allowing orientation, mapping and re-excision of microscopic tumour extension. These extensions can be followed without sacrificing inappropriate amounts of normal tissue, yielding high cure rates and maximum preservation of tissue. These qualities make Mohs surgery an important and reliable treatment for skin cancer of the face, in particular when it concerns large, aggressive or recurrent carcinoma in cosmetic and functionally important areas. In an 8-year study period, 369 basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and 56 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of the face were treated in our department using Mohs surgery. With a follow-up ranging from 3 months to 99 months (mean 33 months), none of the BCCs recurred and only one (2%) of the SCCs recurred a few months postoperatively. These favourable cure rates using the modality of Mohs surgery are the reason for highlighting this technique in the current review.

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