Mohs surgery is most useful in treating skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive facial areas, including nose, ears, eyelids, and lips, and in treating skin cancers that have a growth pattern associated with a high risk of recurrence.
The two most common types of skin cancers treated with Mohs surgery are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both of these tumors can grow beyond what is seen on the skin surface and can extend along structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and scars. With the Mohs technique, these extensions can be followed and removed. Melanoma is not commonly treated with Mohs surgery unless the cancer is located in a cosmetically critical area.