Mohs Surgery with Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade
Posted on 08 March 2016
Little Leaves co-founder Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade is a dermatologist that works curing skin cancer in patients every day. In this article, he discusses Mohs Micrographic Surgery - a specialized skin cancer procedure that allows for the highest cure rate and the smallest removal of tissue.
There are many aspects about being a dermatologist that help make it an enjoyable profession such as the ability to cure cancer several times daily, immediately seeing results and immediate patient satisfaction. But by far the most enjoyable part of my day is that the nature of the Mohs surgical procedure allows me to speak to my patients for extended periods of time throughout the procedure. I learn so much from my patients and their life stories throughout the day.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a surgical procedure to treat skin cancer that is performed under local anesthesia. It is the optimal treatment for most skin cancers and it allows for the treatment of skin cancer by removing the minimal amount of tissue necessary to cure the cancer while having a cure rate of approximately 99%.
By removing the minimal amount of tissue and reconstructing the defect in the same day, Mohs micrographic surgery also allows for minimal scarring.
MOHS SURGERY - THE PROCEDURE
The procedure begins by numbing the surgical site with local anesthetic then surgically removing a small margin of tissue around the original biopsy site. That tissue is then processed in the office and examined in order to evaluate where and if the cancer cells persist. The process is repeated until the tissue margins are free of cancer cells at which time the surgical site is then reconstructed. Every time a piece of tissue is removed for processing, the wait time can range from 45 minutes for smaller tissues to a little over 1 hour for larger tissues. I tell my patients that because we cannot see the "roots" to the cancer until the tissue is processed, expect to be in the office a minimum of 3 hours for most cases. As a result of the nature of the procedure, I also tell my patients that we will have time throughout the procedure to answer any questions and on a lighter note to speak about many topics.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
I ask my patients about their family, past or current occupations, favorite foods to eat or cook and about their lives in general. Because we are able to spend this time together in the office, I often share life stories, talk about sports and even share recipes. Overall, we have a lot of fun in the office and spend most of our time laughing. Before the patient knows it, the hours of numbing medicine, removing tissue, waiting and stitching quickly becomes an enjoyable day spent with myself and my staff. I like to call it Dr. Meade's "verba-caine" where we enjoy our conversations so much that the patient forgets that he or she is even having the Mohs procedure done!
Dr. Gomez-Meade practices at Vitalogy SkinCare: