Mohs Surgery VS Conventional Surgery

by Verónica Ruiz

Know the advantages of MOHS SURGERY VS CONVENTIONAL SURGERY in the treatment of skin cancer

The surgery continues to be the alternative that offers the highest cure rate in the treatment of skin cancer.

However, it is important to point out that there are several types of skin cancer, which show differences with respect to their biological characteristics and aggressiveness, and that each patient has individual characteristics specific to their health status.   

 “The most appropriate treatment for skin cancer will depend on the type of tumor, location and the medical context of each patient”.

Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is presented as a specific surgical technique for the treatment of certain types of skin cancer, mostly basal cell carcinoma, which allows a cure rate very close to 100%.

MMS offers the following advantages over conventional surgery:

  • Examines all of the removed tissue.
  • It is a selective technique in tumor removal; the fact that MMS is carried out by stages and the entire sample is examined, makes it possible to “follow” the tumor until its complete removal.
  • Being selective, it preserves a greater amount of healthy tissue adjacent to the tumor, which is very useful in those areas where it is essential to maintain good cosmetic and functional results, such as the face.
  • It allows the complete cure of complex tumors in a single intervention, in most cases, since the examination of excised tissue samples is carried out at the same moment of intervention.

Most of the studies comparing the cost of Mohs surgery vs conventional surgery in the treatment of head and neck basal cell carcinoma obtain favourable results for mohs surgery both in primary tumors (no prior treatment) and persistent and or recurrent tumors.

There are fewer studies that really analyze and compare the cost-efectiveness of MMS compared to conventional surgery, and some of these studies do conclude that MMS would be more profitable, especially in high – risk primary basal cell carcinomas and in relapsed tumours, those in which the risk of tumor recurrence and second interventions is significantly higher with conventional surgery.

I invite you to know more details about the technique by clicking on the following link:

MOHS: SURGERY: What does it consist of and when is it appropiate to perfom it?



  • Robert S Stern. Cost effectiveness of Mohs micrographic surgery. J Invest Dermatol 2013 May;133(5):1129-31.
  • Kyle A. Prickett; Michael L. Ramsey. Mohs Micrographic Surgery. StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan.
  • Emily P Tierney, C William Hanke. Cost effectiveness of Mohs micrographic surgery: review of the literature. J Drugs Dermatol 2009 Oct;8(10):914-22.