Mohs Surgery Specialist

District Dermatology

Dermatologist & Mohs Surgeon located in McLean, VA

Learning you have skin cancer is a stressful experience, and you might be wondering what comes next. At District Dermatology in McLean, Virginia, Dr. Al Damavandy specializes in Mohs surgery and advanced reconstruction, the gold standard treatment option for most types of skin cancer. Mohs surgery can remove cancerous skin cells and offer the highest cure rates available while preserving the greatest amount of healthy tissue possible. To find out if this approach is a good treatment option for your needs, schedule a consultation right away through the online scheduling tool or call the office directly.

Mohs Surgery Q & A

What is Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is a skin cancer treatment approach that physically removes cancerous skin cells while leaving your healthy cells intact. It’s a great treatment option for men and women who have skin cancer in only one area or a small cluster of cancers.

Mohs surgery is most often used for the following types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma in-situ and early stage Melanoma
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
  • Extramammary Paget’s disease
  • Merkel cell carcinoma

What is the process like for Mohs surgery?

Having Mohs surgery requires a bit of patience, as the process can be slow. The process begins with you meeting Dr. Damavandy and discussing the benefits and risks of the procedure as well as any special circumstances related to your particular site. Dr. Damavandy will then mark the area surrounding your skin cancer and show you the proposed plan prior to positioning you in a comfortable manner that allows good access to the site.

The procedure is carried out in a safe and painless manner under local anesthesia and you are awake and alert throughout. He uses a scalpel to carefully remove a thin layer of the cancerous tissue to examine in the lab.

You’ll rest as the removed tissue is processed, dyed, and examined under a microscope to determine if there are cancerous cells present and where they’re located. That information lets Dr. Damavandy know if and where more tissue must be removed.

He returns to the treatment area and repeats the process until he obtains a sample with no signs of cancer. At that point, he closes the surgical site and provides post-operative care instructions.  

How long does Mohs surgery take?

Each procedure is a unique experience and timing is mostly a function of the factors of the particular tumor being treated. Your surgery could take as little as an hour or could extend for several hours. What’s important is that all traces of cancerous cells are removed. You can bring a book or listen to music to pass the time and to help you relax as you wait during the lab portion of your procedure. The office provides light refreshments and fast Wifi to help make you wait more enjoyable.

The meticulous nature of Mohs surgery is what makes it such a successful treatment option. In fact, this approach has the highest cure rate of any other skin cancer treatment method. If you’ve recently received a skin cancer diagnosis, contact District Dermatology to learn if Mohs surgery might be right for you.