Health First Mohs Surgeon Dr. Andrew Kelsey Removes Cancerous Skin Tissue With Minimum Damage
By Space Coast Daily // November 27, 2021
HEALTH & MEDICINE SPOTLIGHT: MOLES, MEET MOHS
Health First’s fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon Dr. Andrew Kelsey removes cancerous skin tissue with minimum damage to healthy tissue, and his patients are done in half a day.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Skin cancer diagnoses become more likely as we grow older. Here in sunny Florida, we should get our skin checked early and often. Begin by seeing a board-certified dermatologist.
They’ll probably want to take a closer look at a few spots with a dermatoscope, which allows them to see several layers into the skin for patterns and features that may be cancer. If a biopsy is needed and comes back as skin cancer, ask about Mohs surgery.
Mohs micrographic surgery is the most precise and most effective technique for removing most skin cancers – and Health First patients are done in half a day. Patients are typically back to themselves in 1 to 2 days! It is performed in the following stages:
■ With precision, the cancer is marked and removed from the skin. The goal is to leave healthy tissue alone.
■ Under a microscope, the damaged tissue is examined by a physician. If cancer is seen, he returns to the exact location of the cancer to remove another layer. This process repeats until the cancer is completely removed.
■ The physician then closes the wound, paying close attention to restoring your original look.
■ Health First’s Mohs surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kelsey, may use lasers to refine blemishes and, with the patient’s help, minimize the appearance of a scar.
It is, simply, the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue for the smallest possible blemish.
Both the diagnostic part (the lab work) and the restoration is what separates expert, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons from the pack, and Dr. Andrew Kelsey is one.
“Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate of any other medical or surgical option for non-melanoma skin cancer. It’s done without the trouble of general anesthesia, so patients are awake and chatting the whole time. The removal and reconstruction happen all in the same day and leaves the smallest scar possible. The healing begins immediately.”
Getting It Right the First Time
Skin cancer is on the rise nationally, and in Florida, they’re more aggressive than up north, says Dr. Kelsey. He has trained extensively to identify rare cancers under the microscope.
That’s where Mohs and the benefit of a fellowship-trained provider really shine. A Mohs fellowship is extremely competitive. Once there, physicians study common and rare tumor pathology as well as complex skin reconstructions.
It’s often been said that cancer may have more going on than meets the eye. Studies show that under the microscope doctors can identify features that are concerning at a cellular level and remove it, where another treatment might not make such a discovery.
“We now know how dangerous certain features can be, where just five years ago we did not,” he says. “I’m so glad when a patient chooses to be in our chair. Getting it right the first time matters.”
High Cure Rate, Minimum Mark
Mohs is indicated for high-risk tumors on the head and neck, the hands and feet, the genitals and buttocks. Here is where you want the most certainty – and for skin cancer that has not been treated before, Mohs has a 99% cure rate.
It does it while removing the least amount of healthy skin. Dr. Kelsey repairs the skin using linear closures, flaps and grafts, and accelerates healing with refining lasers. Restoring beauty is an art.
“A thoughtful closure is the first thing others will see. This is where fellowship training inspires creativity – it’s about understanding the subtleties of facial contours, shadows, natural lines, the symmetries of the face, and natural cosmetic boundaries. We want to preserve that.”
“Mohs surgery is so good at curing these deadly cancers that we’ve been able to focus on making sure you look exactly as good as you did before, no less.”
Great Results Before You Leave
One of its great advantages is patients know their results right there. They don’t leave until the cancer is gone. If the skin cancer carries a high risk of recurrence (or has in fact recurred following an earlier treatment), or it has irregular or hard-to-spot borders, Mohs is strongly indicated.
For this and other skin worries, Health First has answers. To learn more, visit HF.org/Dermatology.