Dermatology Associates of Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists

Rochelle R. Weiss, M.D.
Daniel B. Roling, M.D.
Caroline M. Groft-MacFarlane,M.D., Ph.D.
Matthew E. Halpern, M.D.
Danielle M. DeHoratius, M.D.
Michael D. Gober, M.D., Ph.D.
Jocelyn M. Confino, MPAS, P.A.-C
Kathryn M. Smore, MPAS, P.A.-C

Surgical Services

MOHS Skin Cancer Surgery

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a microscopically guided procedure for skin cancer removal.  It was developed more than 60 years ago by Fredrick Mohs (pronounced “moze”), a medical student at the University of Wisconsin.  Since that time, the technique has been advanced and refined.  Today, it is considered the standard of care for treating skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive areas and for certain other hard to treat skin cancers.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced treatment process for skin cancer that offers the highest possible cure rate for many skin cancers and simultaneously minimizes the sacrifice of normal tissue. This cutting-edge treatment requires highly specialized physicians that serve as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. 

The microscopic analysis of resected tissue allows the surgeon to track the removal of the cancer and ensure the complete elimination of all tumor roots. As tumors often extend below intact normal skin (like the roots of a tree) this procedure allows the surgeon to see beyond the visible tumor to ensure its complete removal. 

The technique is most often used to remove the two most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The cure rates for Mohs Micrographic Surgery approach 99% for most primary (untreated) cancers with a slightly lower cure rate for secondary or recurrent (previously treated) cancers. While limiting the sacrifice of uninvolved tissue, this specialized procedure preserves the greatest amount of normal tissue. This benefit of the procedure provides the foundation for the best reconstructions and limits scarring or permanent disfigurement. 

Mohs Micrographic Surgery remains the most effective method of removing non-melanotic skin cancer (basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, sebaceous carcinoma, Extramammary Paget's disease, Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, etc.) available anywhere in the world today.

Who performs Mohs Surgery?

Dr. Halpern is a fellowship trained Mohs Surgeon.  He attended Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital.  He was chief resident of Dermatology at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital-Columbia University and completed a 2-year fellowship in Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Columbia University.  Dr. Halpern is Board Certified in Dermatology.

A specialized team of several surgical assistants, a technician who prepares the tissue for microscopic examination, and our office staff, assist Dr. Halpern.

 

Moles

Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups.
Most moles appear in early childhood and during the first 20 years of a person's life. Some moles may not appear until later in life. It is normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood.
As the years pass, moles usually change slowly, becoming raised and/or changing color. Often, hairs develop on the mole. Some moles may not change at all, while others may slowly disappear over time.

 

Cysts

A cyst is a closed sac- or bladder-like structure that is not a normal part of the tissue where it is found. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body in persons of any age. Cysts usually contain a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance. Cysts vary in size; they may be detectable only under a microscope or they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues.

 

Lipoma

A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or more lipomas may be present at the same time. Lipomas are the most common noncancerous soft tissue growth.