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Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery removes skin affected by skin cancer while protecting as much normal tissue as possible. Named after Frederic E. Mohs, MD, who developed it, this technique is useful for large or aggressive tumors with indistinct borders, near vital functional or cosmetic structures and for tumors where other therapies have failed.

This technique is time consuming, but the accuracy and chance for complete removal of skin cancer is very good. Although no surgeon or technique can guarantee a 100% chance of cure, this surgical technique offers a 97%-99% chance for the complete removal of skin cancers.

After the surgeon removes the visible portion of the tumor, two steps follow. First the physician removes the skin at the base of the defect created when the tumor was removed. Next, the clinician examines this tissue under a microscope. If any tumor is seen during the microscopic examination, clinicians establish its location and remove a thin layer of additional tissue. The entire process is repeated until no tumor is seen on the microscopic examination.

Conditions We Treat

  • Large or aggressive tumors with indistinct borders, near vital functional or cosmetic structures
  • Tumors where other therapies have failed

Meet Your Care Team

Anna S. Clayton

Anna S. ClaytonMD

    Dermatological Surgery, Dermatology, Melanoma, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Allison M. Hanlon

Allison M. HanlonMD, PhD

    Dermatological Surgery, Dermatology, Melanoma, Melanoma Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, Surgical Oncology

Why Choose Mohs Micrographic Surgery at Vanderbilt

  • conference, Team approach, people, staff, partners
    Team approach

    We work with surgical and medical oncology to ensure that you receive the comprehensive care you need. Our team members collaborate with each other, as well as with experts in other medical disciplines, to provide you with individual care that addresses your unique needs.

  • people, Tumor board, team, staff, partners
    Specialized tumor boards

    At our regular cancer care meetings, experts in your specific type of cancer from across medical disciplines work together to create a treatment plan for the most complex cases. This means expert, comprehensive care just for you.

  • markers, map, Multiple care locations
    Multiple care locations

    We offer medical and support services with easy access locations throughout Middle Tennessee, so you can receive your care closer to you.

Tests, Treatments and Services

We offer a full range of tests, treatments and services, including:


Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks
719 Thompson Lane, Suite 26300
Nashville, TN 37204

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