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Skin Cancer / MOHS Surgery

Mohs Surgery to Address Skin Cancer

Mohs surgery is the most effective procedure used to remove skin cancers, the most common of which are squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports cure rates of 98% or greater with Mohs surgery.

With advanced fellowship training in Mohs surgery at a nationally respected institution, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Bobby Awadalla, operating out of Laguna Beach, CA, is at the forefront of performing these medical dermatology procedures.

dermatologist examining excised tissue under a microscope during Mohs surgery in Laguna Beach, CA

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery allows your surgeon to examine excised tissue under the microscope during the procedure, instead of afterward like other types of skin cancer treatment.

This critical procedural difference allows for small, thin layers to be removed and studied under a microscope to evaluate if cancer cells are present.

Once a layer is reached where the margins of the tissue are cancer-free, the surgery is complete. This eliminates any guesswork in the skin cancer removal process, which generates unparalleled therapeutic and cosmetic results for each patient. To learn more about Mohs surgery, please visit ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

By saving almost all normal, non-cancerous tissue during the process, repairing the area with facial plastic reconstruction produces far better results. Dr. Bobby Awadalla is an expert in facial plastic reconstruction following skin cancer removal and provides the highest quality cosmetic results.

What Skin Cancers Can Mohs Surgery Treat?

Mohs surgery is most commonly used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas and may be the preferred method in the following situations:

  • When a tissue-sparing procedure is needed to maintain healthy tissue for both aesthetic and functional purposes near the eyelids, ears, fingers, nose, lips, toes, and genitals
  • To remove large tumors, skin lesions with irregular borders, or skin cancer on the face
  • Treating a cancer that is at high risk for recurrence
  • Cancer that presents in an area with scar tissue
  • Cancer that is growing very quickly and uncontrollably

As a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery, Dr. Bobby Awadalla is passionate about delivering outstanding results with this procedure. His skill in removing tumors and providing a cosmetically acceptable result regularly exceeds patient expectations.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bobby Awadalla at Coast Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Laguna Beach, CA, please contact us at (949) 499-1389.

What Can I Expect During My Treatment?

A Mohs surgeon performs this procedure step by step during a single office visit: 

Step 1: We will numb the skin by injecting an anesthetic. This allows you to be awake throughout the surgery.

Step 2: Once the treatment area is numb, Dr. Awadalla will remove a very thin layer of tissue from the site for examination.

Step 3: Dr. Awadalla will study the tissue under a microscope to identify cancer cells within the sample.

Step 4: If Dr. Awadalla finds cancer during his analysis, he will remove another thin layer of tissue from the same site.

Step 5: The process continues until there is a sample in which no cancer cells are detected. At this point, Dr. Awadalla will determine the best way to close the wound to ensure the best possible cosmetic result. 

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take?

Mohs surgery is an unpredictable treatment in terms of time. Most patients will be finished with the procedure in less than four hours. However, some patients may take longer—even all day in some cases. We will instruct you to prepare to be at our office for several hours in case your procedure does take that long. 

The good news about Mohs surgery is that you will know the results of your procedure when you leave our Laguna Beach office that day. Since Dr. Awadella serves as both surgeon and pathologist during this treatment, he will ensure the cancer is fully eradicated from the treatment site before releasing you to go home. 

What is the Recovery Plan?

The primary focus after Mohs surgery is to care for the wound to reduce the risk for complications like infection and ensure the best possible cosmetic result. Dr. Awadella will bandage the site, which should remain for the first 24-48 hours. We will give you instructions on when you may remove the bandage and how to treat your wound when you do.

Ice packs are helpful in managing post-treatment swelling, and we will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection during the early days of healing. 

You may feel tired for a few days after your treatment. We recommend avoiding strenuous activities for the first several days. If you have sutures after your procedure, we will remove them after a week or two. You may not fully heal from the wound for 4-6 weeks, while the scar forms and continues to heal for up to a year.

How Effective is Mohs Surgery ?

Mohs surgery is considered the most effective way for treating some types of skin cancer, with a 99% success rate and the highest potential for a full recovery.

The procedure is favored even when the skin cancer has been previously treated through another method and has recurred. 

Contact a Dermatologist to Learn More about Mohs Surgery  

To learn more about our Mohs surgery at Coast Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center, please schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Bobby Awadalla at our Laguna Beach office. We are here to answer your questions.

We are dedicated to providing our patients unparalleled care at Coast Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center. To experience outstanding dermatology care and procedures for yourself, please contact us today.


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