Patients who received Mohs surgery to treat the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma, reported a 95 percent long-term satisfaction rate with their results, according to a new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center dermatologists.
The study, published in Dermatologic Surgery, is the first to poll patient satisfaction for Mohs surgery. The findings complement previous scientific studies that found Mohs surgery is as effective as wide local excision for early melanomas, says Divya Srivastava, M.D., a UT Southwestern board-certified dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs surgeon who led the study and has been specializing in Mohs surgery for the past decade. She says her caseload of Mohs surgeries for melanoma has doubled in that time.
Patient satisfaction is becoming such an important part of medicine these days, so we wanted to look to see what we can do to get patients more satisfied with the care that they are getting for their skin cancer treatment. That's a big area of interest for a lot of the subspecialties." Divya Srivastava, M.D., UT Southwestern board-certified dermatologist
More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined, but how they attack their cancer is wildly different. "We are working to determine what treatments garner the highest satisfaction to better inform guidelines and decision-making," Srivastava says.
Named after the late Frederic Mohs, M.D., Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly precise excision technique in which the cancer is removed in stages, one tissue layer at a time. After each removal step, the layer is examined under a microscope to determine whether cancer remains in the patient's skin and, if present, where exactly it is located so that the surgeon can pinpoint where to remove the remaining skin cancer. This allows for the smallest scar and best cosmetic result.
"You're looking at 100 percent of the margin under the microscope," Srivastava says. "You're really tracking the cancer out so you're giving people a great cure rate, and it's all done under local anesthetic so it's very safe." Related Stories
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