Tanya Kormeili, MD Dermatology
Medical, Surgical, Cosmetic

Dr. Kormeili MD of Santa Monica Dermatology Group Los Angeles, CA, dermatoligist offers services for cosmetic, surgical and medical dermatology devoted to healthy, beautiful skin for life.

1260 Fifteenth Street,
Suite 709
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Appt (310) 917-4433
Fax   (310) 917-4432

MOHS

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for the removal of skin cancer. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and complete microscopic examination of the removed cancerous tissue, so that all “roots” and extensions of the skin cancer can be eliminated.

How is Mohs surgery different from other surgeries?

Due to the methodical manner in which tissue is removed and examined, Mohs surgery has been recognized as the skin cancer treatment with the highest reported cure rate.  In fact, Mohs micrographic surgery has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer, with a cure rate of up to 99% for certain tumors.

Mohs micrographic surgery procedure is micrographically controlled, meaning it can provide the most precise method for removal of the cancerous tissue, while sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue. For this reason, Mohs may result in a significantly smaller surgical defect and less noticeable scarring as compared to other methods of skin cancer treatment.

The Mohs surgery procedure is recommended for skin cancer removal in anatomic areas where maximum preservation of healthy tissue is desirable for cosmetic and functional purposes. It may also be indicated for lesions that have recurred following prior treatment, or for lesions which have the greatest likelihood of recurrence.

When is Mohs surgery used?

It is important to note that Mohs surgery is not appropriate for the treatment of all skin cancers. As mentioned above, Mohs surgery typically is reserved for those skin cancers that have recurred following previous treatment or for cancers that are at high risk for recurrence.

Mohs surgery also is indicated for cancers located in areas where maximum preservation of healthy tissue is critical, whether for cosmetic or functional purposes.  Areas of the body Mohs surgery is indicated for include the nose, ears, eyelids, lips, hairlines, hands, feet, and genitals.

What happens during Mohs surgery?

Using a local anesthetic, the doctor removes thin layers of the malignant growth, checking each layer under a microscope for the presence of tumor. The excision is repeated as necessary, until the tissue is tumor free. This method sacrifices the minimum amount of healthy tissue, traces the cancer to its roots, and achieves the highest cure rate.

Options for Post-Surgical Reconstruction

After the skin cancer has been removed, your doctor will your post-surgical reconstruction options with you.  These include:

  1. Allowing the wound to heal naturally on its own; no further surgeries or sutures
  2. Re-arranging skin from other areas surrounding the cancer to repair the wound (graft, flap or complex closures)
  3. Refer to another surgeon for wound repair

The best course of action for you can only be decided once the cancer is removed and the final wound is evaluated. If a wound can be closed from side to side without adversely affecting the nearby anatomy, this may be the course of action. For some wounds the tissue simply cannot be stretched far and it requires skin adjacent to the surgical defect to be partially cut free and rotated or moved forward to cover the surgical area (called a flap).

Alternatively, skin from an area that has similar skin is removed and placed over the surgical defect, called a graft. Stitches (sutures) are placed to hold either flaps or grafts in place.

You will be given daily instructions for how to take care of the wound, as well as when to return for suture removal.

Wound Healing, Scarring and Scar Revision

As with any surgery, there will be a scar associated with Mohs surgical removal of skin cancers. Mohs surgery will leave the smallest possible surgical defect and scar, however! Scars take up to one year to mature to their final appearance. There are many techniques to improve the appearance of these scars. Cosmetic aspects of such a wound can be addressed with you in detail during your follow up appointments with the doctor.

Potential Complications

It is important to know that no procedure is an absolute guarantee for total removal of every skin cancer cell. Recurrence is always a possibility. However, recurrence rates are the lowest with Mohs surgery. The potential complications associated with Mohs include a risk of bleeding and infection. Additionally, during surgery small nerve endings are cut, which may result in temporary or permanent numbness in and around the area of surgery. With larger or deeper tumors, larger nerves controlling movement of muscles could be cut, which may result in weakness in a portion of the face. (This is a very rare complication, however.) Another possible side effect is some itching or minor pain in the surgical area.

If poor healing takes place on your body, additional repairs may be needed. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way to assure a smooth healing and recovery process.

I had rosacea that caused redness and broken vessels on my face. Dr. Kormeili addressed all of my concerns and set about fixing the redness. I was super excited after my first laser treatment as the improvement was immediately noticeable. The second laser treatment made me look and feel amazing...

~N.F., La Habra

I had really bad psoriasis on my scalp that flaked all over my clothes, and it was so embarrassing to sit on board meetings in a black suite with white flakes. My entire attention was on my flakes, and worried what people were thinking when they looked at me, or got close to me at work...

~J.A. Los Angeles

Dr. Kormeili is the BEST!! I have a horrible phobia of needles and she calmed my nerves and had an extremely gentle touch. Painless office visit!

~C.E. Los Angeles

Whereever Dr. Kormeili goes, my mom and I follow her. I highly recommend her. My visits are always a great experience.

~M. I., Santa Monica

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

I had multiple warts on my hands and legs for the past 5 years. It was just something I learned to live with. I moved so sunny Los Angeles and decided it was time to take care of this embarrassing problem. I had appt’s with a few dermatologists, but once I found Dr. Kormeili I knew I wanted her to treat me...

~M.L., Los Angeles

Excellent. Office staff are kind and barely any wait time. Easy to make appointments and amazing friendly/intelligent dermatologist!

~M. L., Santa Monica

Dr. Kormeili is a remarkable person and an amazing doctor. She’s exact, focused and thorough, and treats you like one of the family. The results of my treatments were beyond my expectations.

~C.S., Santa Monica

I had sun damaged skin with several sun spots on my face. My entire attention was on my face, and I worried what people were thinking when they looked at me. I’m a vice president in banking and image is very important especially in the leadership role I am in. I saw Dr. Kormeili 4 months ago...

~M.M., Torrence

I absolutely love this Dr. She is so honest. My skin looks great and I feel so happy with her service and recommendations.

~M.M. Santa Monica

I was working a lot and very stressed out. One day I looked up in the mirror and I had look like I had aged about 10 years and as a woman we like to stay looking young. So a friend referred me to Dr. Kormeili for a little Botox and fillers. She was great! She took care of everything that was bothering me and then some...

~D.E., Whittier

How can someone be sad around Dr. Kormeili? She is a burst of sunshine but most of all she cares about her patients. Dr. Kormeili knew and worked on my husband before he recently passed away. He would rave about her care and skill when he had work on his face done by her. I went to Dr. Kormeili after my husband passed away...

~S.L. Los Angeles

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

I had been taking antibiotic medicines for over 2 years to help control my acne; once I was prescribed Accutane in less than 3 months my face was completely gone. Of course before taking Accutane I was constantly aware of my skin, always trying to find ways to hide it and sometimes it got so hard I didn’t even want to go to school....

~C.J., Los Angeles

SHE IS THE BEST! Considerate, compassionate and thoroughly professional.

~V.L. Santa Monica

Sexual intercourse is such an integral part of a happy marriage. After months of “grin and bear it” with vaginal irritation, I mentioned my problem of having intercourse to my primary care doctor and then to my OBGYN. The good news was that the biopsy was not cancerous, however the bad news was that it was lichen...

~-- (Anonymous)

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

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