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Dr. John B. Harris in Ponte Vedra, FL compares MOFS pathology to Mohs skin cancer procedures and surgical implications

During your consultation we will discuss MOFS pathology, Mohs pathology, and the surgical implications of cancerous lesions. MOFS pathology is key to our skin cancer surgery practice. Many patients ask if a plastic surgeon should remove the skin cancer and close the wound because they have had skin cancers removed elsewhere and have been very unhappy regarding the appearance of the scars. All surgery will leave a scar of some type. However, the team approach of the FSCC using MOFS surgery minimizes the size of the removal. It allows closure of the wound by an expert in plastic surgery technique, providing the best possible cosmetic result.

What is Mohs pathology vs. FSCC’s MOFS pathology used for skin cancer surgery, and when is it necessary? 

Mohs pathology

  • A pathology method for evaluation of skin cancers that was developed 70 years ago by general surgeon Charles Mohs, MD
  • The original technique has changed significantly and now simply is a very well-structured total frozen section examination of a skin cancer tumor’s margins 
  • A similar pathology technique utilized by the SPL pathologist or dermatopathologist working at FSCC is MOFS (Multiple Oriented Frozen Section) pathology, which addresses tumor margins
  • Mohs surgery is a procedure where a single physician (usually a dermatologist) acts as both the surgeon and pathologist
  • The FSCC team approach utilizes a board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified pathologist or dermatopathologist from SPL
  • Our surgery technique with digital photo mapping of specimens and 360-degree orientation provides the connection between surgeon and pathologist that minimizes the amount of tissue removed, ensures complete removal, and allows for the best cosmetic outcome
  • The SPL board-certified pathologists and dermatopathologists working with FSCC also take the extra step of examining all specimens with permanent section pathology for quality control per CAPS (College of American Pathology) guidelines
evaluation surgical margins

BOTTOM LINE for patients: FSCC’s MOFS surgery approach for skin cancer removal uses a team approach to skin cancer surgery with a board-certified plastic surgeon performing your skin cancer removal and reconstruction and a SPL pathologist or dermatopathologist examining the specimen under the microscope examining all margins to ensure complete removal. Patients and payers are surprised to find that our team approach is:

  • Faster, more efficient, and often less costly than traditional skin cancer surgery, where a single physician removes the skin cancer and performs the pathology
  • Welcomed by patients as a board-certified plastic surgeon accomplishes their wound closure

The FSCC team approach was developed to prevent patients from traveling to multiple locations for a single skin cancer surgery. However, FSCC is very happy to assist with wound closure if a skin cancer is removed by a surgeon at a different location. Typically, Dr. Harris will accomplish your wound closure on the same day that your skin cancer is removed.

With skin cancer being so prevalent in my family, I noticed a little dry skin on the bridge of my nose. I contacted Florida Skin Cancer Center and made an appointment on the day that the pathologist would be available in his mobile lab. Dr. Harris removed the tissue to be examined and within 15 minutes or so I was diagnosed with basal cell cancer. Dr Harris removed the cancer, put 6 sutures in my nose, and all of this took less than 40 minutes. Two months later there is no scar on my nose. I will forever be grateful for their expediency, professionalism and thoughtfulness shown towards me. There is no better place to go than the Florida Skin Cancer Center
D. M.

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