Dermatologic surgery can be used to treat several skin conditions, such as melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas), lipomas and cysts. Our dermatologic surgeons are leaders in treating complex surgical skin conditions. You can trust our team to listen to your concerns, understand your needs, and take the time to provide you with a personalized treatment plan.

Why Choose Us for Surgical Dermatology

  • All the experts you need: Your care team includes the specialists you need for the best results possible. Our dermatologic surgeons are fellowship-trained and board-certified in both dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery and are members of the American College of Mohs Surgery.
  • Unmatched expertise: Our surgeons specialize in dermatology and Mohs surgery to provide you with the highest level of expertise. Our onsite Mohs lab is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.
  • Coordinated care: We guide your treatment journey so you have less to worry about. We will help you schedule appointments, communicate with your other providers, and provide you with resources to understand your surgery.
  • Individualized treatment plan: Your unique needs define your care, from the diagnostic tests to your treatment plan.
  • Evidence-based treatment: Our approach to your care is based on treatments that have been scientifically proven to provide the best possible results.
  • Training the next generation: Our fellowship program prepares dermatologists to specialize in skin cancer management and provide state-of-the-art care to patients like you. Your care team may include dermatology residents and/or a micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology fellow. The fellow has completed residency training in dermatology and is pursuing subspecialty training in Mohs surgery or dermatologic oncology.

Services We Provide

  • Mohs and reconstructive surgery
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C)
  • Excisions
  • Intralesional injections
  • Liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)
  • Nail surgery
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons treat all forms of skin cancer, including:

  • Actinic keratosis (precancerous lesions)
  • Adnexal carcinoma
  • Atypical Fibroxanthoma (AFX)
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Basosquamous cell carcinoma
  • Cutaneous leiomyosarcoma
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)
  • Eccrine carcinoma
  • Extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD)
  • Keratoacanthoma
  • Melanoma
  • Microcystic adnexal carcinoma (MAC)
  • Mucinous carcinoma
  • Sebaceous carcinoma
  • Squamous carcinoma
  • Squamous eccrine ductal carcinoma
  • Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma

We also address complex skin conditions, including:

  • Nail issues, including avulsions and biopsies
  • Rhinophyma

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is a precise and effective treatment for skin cancer, with a 99% cure rate for new skin cancers and a 95% cure rate for recurrent skin cancers.

The technique was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs, who recognized that skin cancer cells often grow downward and outward into the skin. Mohs surgery removes the cancer in stages, one tissue layer at a time, until all cancer cells are gone, preserving as much healthy skin as possible.

Advantages of Mohs surgery

The advantages of Mohs surgery include complete cancer removal, minimal loss of healthy tissue, maximized functional and cosmetic outcomes, and curing skin cancer when other treatments have failed.

Mohs surgery is especially suitable for skin cancers that are found on important cosmetic areas, have recurred after previous treatment, are found in scar tissue, are large, have ill-defined edges, or grow rapidly.

Why choose an ACMS fellowship-trained surgeon?

Choosing an American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon ensures the highest standards of quality and competency. ACMS surgeons have completed at least one year of training after dermatology residency and have hands-on experience provided by highly qualified instructors.

Why is Mohs surgery needed after biopsy?

Following a biopsy, skin cancer may no longer be visible, but tumor cells may remain and continue to grow deeper into the skin. Neglected tumors can spread into the skin and nearby structures and can even metastasize to lymph nodes and other organs in the body.

About scarring

Mohs surgery, like any treatment for skin cancer, will leave a scar. However, the surgeon will preserve as much healthy skin as possible and maximize options for repairing the surgical defect once the tumor is completely removed.

Scars improve with time, but the normal healing process may involve a period of skin contraction, which can result in bumpiness or hardening of the scar. If there are problems with the healing of the scar, injections or other treatments may be used to optimize the cosmetic result.

What should I expect when I get Mohs surgery?

Before Mohs surgery, a consultation appointment with the surgeon may be necessary to decide if Mohs surgery is the best treatment for your skin cancer. You may be asked to stop smoking and clear a full day for the procedure.

Mohs surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in the surgeon's office, starting early in the morning and usually completed the same day. You’ll receive local anesthesia to numb the area around the tumor, which means you will be awake but comfortable during the procedure.

It is important to follow the medical team's advice as closely as possible to help ensure a successful outcome.

More information

For more information about Mohs surgery, including a step-by-step description of the procedure, and things to consider before and after surgery, visit the ACMS website for patients or view the ACMS flipbook for patients.

Take the Next Step

If you need specialty care for skin cancer or complex skin conditions, don’t wait. Contact us at 909-558-2890 to request more information and make an appointment.  

Meet Our Doctors

Conroy Chow, MD

Mohs surgery at Loma Linda University is led by a team of fellowship-trained, board-certified dermatologic surgeons. Our mission is to provide the highest quality of care while taking care of you like family.

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Meet Our Doctors

Ashley N. Elsensohn, MD, MPH

Mohs surgery provides the most precise way to remove a variety of skin cancers. The Mohs surgeons at Loma Linda University are board-certified specialists dedicated to curing your skin cancer while supporting you through the entire process.

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