Surgical Dermatology

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Please see our video documenting the process of Mohs Micrographic surgery.

Dr. John Cowan, along with a highly trained team of Mohs histotechnicians and support staff, has been performing Mohs Micrographic surgery since 2008. Currently he is the only board-certified dermatologist offering this valuable service to the residents of South Central Kentucky. Furthermore, he is a fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, a national organization with over 1,000 members.

   What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a highly specialized procedure used to remove skin cancer, most commonly basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs surgery is named in honor of Dr. Frederic Mohs, the physician who developed the technique. It is typically a one day, outpatient procedure which involves the selective removal of skin cancer while maintaining as much uninvolved surrounding tissue as possible. This technique differs from other methods by microscopically evaluating the entire margin/edges to ensure adequate and complete tumor removal. Using detailed mapping techniques, the physician can pinpoint areas of persistent tumor and return to the exact location on the patient in order to remove more involved tissue. Thus, the patient has the advantage of a 99% cure rate for primary non-melanoma skin cancers (i.e. basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma) while limiting the amount of tissue removed from the patient. After the skin cancer is removed, the physician will reconstruct the area in the most cosmetically appealing manner.

   What are the advantages of Mohs?
By using detailed mapping techniques and complete microscopic evaluation, the physician can pinpoint residual skin cancer areas that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, even the smallest microscopic roots of the cancer can be removed. This results in the following: highest cure rate possible, least amount of healthy uninvolved tissue removed from the patient, and, in most cases, a procedure which is performed in one day.

   Mohs surgery instructions
Click here to view Mohs surgery instructions.

More information can be found on the following website:
American Society for Mohs Surgery (
This website offers patients information on the process of Mohs Micrographic Surgery.