Skin Cancer Treatment

Dr. Stites spent three years training in Mohs micrographic surgery at Vanderbilt University Department of Dermatology with Drs. Michel McDonald and Thomas Stasko. Mohs surgery, also known as microscopically controlled surgery, was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930’s. It is a common procedure used to treat certain skin cancers and to prevent the recurrence of that cancer. This precise method of treating skin cancers allows us to surgically remove the skin cancer and immediately examine the tissue to identify any remaining cancerous tissue.


This technique is also referred to as a “scrape and burn” technique that is used to effectively treat small, superficial, and non-aggressive cancers. This two-part skin cancer treatment uses a tool to scrape out malignant cells and an electric needle to burn the area to create a clear margin around the treated area.


Excision is a technique that removes the malignant cells and a specific margin around the cancerous area surgically. The area of skin removed is then tested to ensure that no cancer cells remain.

MOHS Surgery

Mohs surgery is often used when:

  • certain areas of the body affected by skin cancer doesn’t respond to other treatment options
  • the skin cancer is affecting an area of the body that the patient wishes to keep as much of the normal tissue as possible
  • the size of the skin cancer cannot be easily determined by a visual examination
  • cancer returns to a previously treated area

Mohs surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and requires a local anesthetic. In addition to having a higher success rate, Mohs is also recognized for its precision, making it the best aesthetic choice for skin cancer treatment.

Recovery time depends on the size of the skin cancer. While some wounds can heal by themselves, others may require sutures, a small skin graft or in some cases, reconstructive surgery. If any discomfort should occur following this treatment, it is usually very mild and can be treated with Tylenol. While minimal bleeding is common, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience persistent, excessive bleeding. For more information, please click here.