Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Past, Present, and Future

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BACKGROUNDMohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is a frequently used technique that provides total margin visualization for treatment of skin neoplasms.OBJECTIVETo provide a comprehensive review of MMS literature, focusing on its origins, evidence behind present-day uses of MMS, and future directions.METHODSA literature search was conducted using PubMed to identify articles pertaining to MMS.RESULTSThe fresh frozen technique led to widespread use of MMS in the 1970s. One randomized controlled trial and several large prospective studies have demonstrated low recurrence rates for treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). MMS, when compared with surgical excision, also achieved a statistically significant higher cure rate for treatment of recurrent NMSC. Studies have demonstrated low recurrence for the treatment of melanoma and melanoma in situ with MMS. MMS has also been shown to effectively treat several rare cutaneous neoplasms. The future of MMS is likely to include the adoption of noninvasive imaging, immunostaining, and digital technology.CONCLUSIONMohs micrographic surgery is an effective treatment modality for numerous cutaneous neoplasms. It has achieved statistically significant superiority to surgical excision for the treatment of recurrent and high-risk NMSC. The future is likely to see increased use of noninvasive imaging, immunostaining, and digital technology.

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