Mohs Surgery

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In this video series, P. Kim Phillips, MD, talks about Mohs surgery and the importance of fellowship training.

Mohs surgery (also called Mohs micrographic surgery) surgical treatment for several types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery, available at Aurora Health Care, allows doctors to remove lesions without removing as much of the normal, healthy skin around it. Mohs surgery is perfect for tumors on the face (nose, eyelids and forehead). It’s also ideal when healthy tissue needs to be saved to help reduce the possibility of scarring or disfigurement.

Mohs surgery is one of the most successful surgical treatments available for removing skin cancer. It uses a very precise method to “map” the tumor and surrounding skin. This allows surgeons to examine the tissue systematically and remove all traces of the tumor without removing as much of the healthy skin around it. Surgeons can examine 100 percent of the tissue margin that surrounds the tumor.

Mohs Surgery Recovery

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning that patients do not stay overnight in the hospital. The surgery typically takes about half a day (four hours), depending on the size of the tumor being removed. A local anesthetic is typically used and is injected by needle into the surgical area. The surgeon may suggest that a patient take a mild sedative to help relax and feel calm during the procedure. When the surgery is done, the surgeon closes the wound in a way that ensures the best outcomes for healing and appearance.

The Aurora Advantage

  • When it comes to Mohs surgery, the expertise of Aurora’s fellowship-trained procedural dermatologists includes:
    • Surgery – the physician surgically removes the tissue.
    • Pathology – the physician uses specialized equipment in the lab to examine removed tissue and “map” the area. Mapping identifies the location of the cancer cells at the time of surgery.
    • Reconstructive surgery – the physician carefully considers the best way to close the wound, making every effort to minimize the visible scar.
  • State-of-the-art labs give the physician a specially designed space dedicated to Mohs surgery.
  • A wealth of experience and knowledge – the physician is aware of treatments for many types of cancerous and noncancerous skin lesions.
  • Access to electronic health records – this ensures coordinated, personalized care across all Aurora Health Care services and locations.

Conditions Treated by Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is used to treat the most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas, as well as some types of melanoma and several uncommon skin cancers. Mohs surgery is especially useful when:

  • Cancer is recurring
  • It’s difficult to determine a cancer’s borders
  • Tumors are large
  • Cells are rapid or deep-growing


Daniel G. Gitter, MD
David W. Mai, MD
Tri V. Nguyen, MD
P. Kim Phillips, MD
Tiffany L. Rebella, MD

Aurora Locations Offering Mohs Surgery

Aurora Health Center
248 McHenry St.
Burlington, WI 53105
Aurora Advanced Healthcare
N84 W16889 Menomonee Ave.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Aurora Advanced Healthcare
12203 N. Corporate Pkwy.
Mequon, WI 53092
3003 W. Good Hope Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53209
Aurora Health Center
W231 N1440 Corporate Ct.
Waukesha, WI 53186