cole | dermatology

Dr. Flowers and Dr. Cole

Mohs micrographic surgery is a procedure developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s and has since become the most effective technique for the removal of basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. It is also utilized for many other types of skin cancers. Most cancers can be treated effectively without the need for Mohs surgery. However, certain situations make it an ideal option. The procedure involves surgically removing the skin cancer that is visibly present and then processing and examining the tissue under a microscope to determine if the margins are clear. If cancer remains, more tissue is removed, with the process being repeated until the cancer is completely excised. Afterwards, the defect is either repaired or allowed to heal on its own. The benefits of Mohs surgery include better margin evaluation than standard pathology processing and its tissue-sparing nature, which ultimately helps to preserve normal skin and minimize scarring. Furtermore, the cancer is removed and evaluated during the same visit, which avoids the delay of waiting for a pathology result from an outside facility.

Mohs Surgery

Previously, Dr. Cole had to refer patients to out-of-town providers when he felt the procedure was warranted. This cumbersome travel for patients, in addition to his interest in dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology, sparked an interest in additional training. From November 2016 until April 2017, Dr. Cole participated in a preceptorship under one of his mentors, Dr. Frank Flowers, in Gainesville, FL. UF Department of Dermatology Professor Emeritus and former Mohs Surgery fellowship director, Dr. Flowers is currently chief of the dermatology section at the NFSG VA Medical Center in Gainesville. By the end of his preceptorship, Dr. Cole completed over 250 cases of skin cancer excision using Mohs technique, frozen section tissue processing and microscopic interpretation, and Mohs surgery defect reconstruction.