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Mohs Micrographic Surgery FAQs

  • How is skin cancer removed using the Mohs technique?

    First, the tumor and a thin rim of surrounding skin are removed under local anesthesia. A map is developed and the tissue is divided into pieces and color-coded. The edges and deep margins are mounted on slides and examined under the microscope by the Mohs surgeon. If the tumor is still present, the surgeon removes another thin layer of tissue only in the area where the cancer is located. In this way, the normal healthy tissue is spared. By examining 100% of the skin edges there is an exceptionally high cure rate, greater than 99.5% for previously untreated tumors. Once the tumor is completely removed, the area is repaired using advanced cosmetic techniques to insure the optimal cosmetic result.

  • I have skin cancer on my face. What is the best way to insure the smallest scar?

    Mohs surgery is the most effective and precise method of treating skin cancer. Microscopic examination allows the surgeon to save as many healthy cells as possible while removing all the cancer cells. The cure rate is greater than 99.5% even with lesions that failed prior treatment. Because Mohs removes the cancer with the greatest certainty, elegant reconstructions can be performed for the best cosmetic outcome with the smallest possible scar. The dermatologist should be a member of The American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology, which insures that they have had extensive training in the excision, pathological diagnosis and reconstruction of skin cancers.

Anthony Petelin, MD

Board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and American College of Mohs Surgery

Dr. Petelin is one of Arizona’s few skin cancer surgeons who has completed an accredited fellowship in Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgery. While his focus is on Mohs surgery, he also has extensive expertise in cosmetic dermatology, including laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, cellulite treatment, fillers, vein therapies and skin tightening techniques. Working with patients, he creates unique treatment plans tailored to individual needs.

Dr. Petelin graduated at the top of his class from the University of Arizona School of Medicine as a member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He then completed his dermatology residency and fellowship training in procedural dermatology at the University of California, Irvine.


James Young, DO

Dr. James Young is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon.

Dr. Young specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He is a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgeon and completed his fellowship through St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, MI. He has a love for the details and aesthetics of dermatology and strives to help patients achieve the healthiest skin possible through passion and commitment.

Dr. Young received a BA in Fine Art from Brigham Young University and attended medical school at Touro University Nevada. He then completed his internship at Valley Medical Center in Las Vegas, NV and dermatology residency at Michigan State University/St. Joseph Mercy. Dr. Young has had extensive exposure to general, surgical and cosmetic dermatology, including cutaneous surgery rotations in Melbourne, Australia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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