Exacting Surgery Eliminates a Pilot’s Melanoma

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-35402" src="https://mdthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/exacting-surgery-eliminates-a-pilots-melanoma.jpg" alt=" Diagnosed with melanoma, the experienced surgical team of Mark Schoonover at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire used a specific technique called Mohs surgery to eliminate any cancer. while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. "width =" 805 "height =" 453 "/>

Diagnosed with melanoma, Mark Schoonover's experienced surgical team at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire used a precise technique called Mohs surgery to eliminate all cancer while sparing as many healthy tissues as possible.

"Melanoma, that really caught my eye." This is how Mark Schoonover, of Weynerhaeuser, Wisconsin, describes the moment when he learned that he had skin cancer in August 2015.

Mark, a passionate pilot and outdoor enthusiast who looks forward to a clear sky, says that he's not always remembered protecting his scalp from the sun while his hair was starting to to thin and to recoil. He began making annual visits to a dermatologist when he was about fifty. Previous biopsies did not reveal any skin cancer. But in 2015, Mark's family worried about a dark spot on his scalp that was becoming more and more important.

"I could not see it," says Mark. "My family was strongly convinced that it was not good." He and his wife visited his dermatologist. This time, a biopsy revealed melanoma and the dermatologist recommended Mohs surgery .

Mohs surgery, named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, the surgeon who pioneered the procedure in the 1930s, is a technique used to eliminate skin cancer while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible . The procedure is generally used for cases where the affected area is visible, such as on the face, neck or head; in particularly sensitive areas of the body; or if the margins of the tumor are ill-defined, as was the case with Mark's tumor.

"We cut a thin layer of tissue, then we examine it and determine if we have all the cancers or if we have to remove more of them." – Michael Colgan, M.D.

"We cut a thin layer of tissue," Michael Colgan, MD ., The Dermatologist who Performed Mark's Surgery at Mayo Clinic Health System at Eau Claire . "Then we examine it and determine if we have all the cancer or if we need to reduce it further."

Mohs surgery is often used in cases of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma says Dr. Colgan. About half of these patients only need an attempt to eliminate the tumor, which takes about two hours from beginning to end. Few patients need more than two attempts. The edges of the melanoma tumors are harder to define, however, and Mark needed three sessions to get the desired result.

A competent team is needed to coordinate Mohs surgery. Nursing nurses call patients to explain details and answer questions. Surgical technicians meet patients at the clinic and guide them throughout the day, from start to finish. A pair of key members of the team remains out of sight: the histotechnicians. They prepare tissue samples that the doctor must examine after removing each layer of tissue.

"These are the unsung heroes," says Dr. Colgan. With this experienced team, Dr. Colgan conducts approximately 1,000 procedures each year.

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Tags: Cancer Dr. Michael Colgan Mayo Clinic Health System at Eau Claire Melanoma Surgery of Moh Cancer of the skin

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