October 25-26, NSH, in partnership with Avantik and Beck Consulting, will be hosting a hands-on Advanced Mohs Technician Training. This advanced training is intended to build upon the foundational knowledge, of earlier entry level Mohs trainings, such as the one hosted by NSH this past June.
NSH interviewed Barbara Beck, of Beck Consulting, to learn more about the Mohs procedure, and what participants can expect from this training.
NSH: Can you give us some background on the Mohs technique?
Barbara: Mohs is a technique developed in 1938 by a general surgeon, Frederic E Mohs. This is a microscopically controlled surgery used to treat common types of skin cancer. During the surgery, after each removal of tissue and while the patient waits, the tissue is examined for cancer cells. That examination informs the decision for additional tissue removal. Mohs surgery is one of the many methods of obtaining complete margin control during removal of a skin cancer using frozen section histology. CCPDMA or Mohs surgery allows for the removal of a skin cancer with very narrow surgical margin and a high cure rate.
NSH: When would the Mohs procedure be used in today's lab?
Barbara: Mohs has the highest cure rate of any form of skin cancer removal and at the same time limits the loss of unaffected (normal) tissue. This is why Mohs surgery is very highly used to remove skin cancers in the area of the head and neck, where preservation of the greatest amount of normal tissue, on critical anatomic areas (eyelids, nose, ears, and lips), greatly improves the final aesthetic outcome.
NSH: This is an advanced training. How much experience should participants have before coming to the class?
Barbara: We normally suggest all participates in this advanced training be familiar with the Mohs technique and know how to cut frozen sections. They should be cutting for at least 6 months and understand the Mohs concept.
NSH: The course mentions reviewing imperfect slides. What are some common problems people run into while performing the Mohs procedure?
Barbara: The most common issues are uneven staining and thick sections. We also discuss and trouble shoot cutting fatty sections, lip and eyelid lesions, and cartilage. Cutting these with frozen sections are usually the most common trouble shooting.
NSH: What are some key takeaways participants can expect to gain from attending the class?
Barbara: Better techniques, faster turn around time, and learning how to trouble shoot in their own labs. They will have a better quality of cell structure and less freeze artifact.
NSH: Participants receive a certificate after they have completed the training, does this qualify them to perform the procedure in their lab?
Barbara: This training is accredited through NSH, however, there is not a true certification required to work in a Mohs lab. All Mohs labs follow under the same guidelines for Histology labs. All personnel need to have the educational requirements for any grossing and High Complexity testing. In some labs, the surgeon will do the grossing and the tech can do the processing which includes the freezing of the tissue, sectioning on the cryostat, staining, and cover slipping, etc. Interested in registering for this training? Click here to learn more!