Group Health Opens TriHealth’s First Mohs Surgery Unit Oct. 20, 2014

On behalf of Jennifer Walker MD, Toby Mathias, MDDavid Morad MD and Kevin Shumrick MD, Group Health and TriHealth announce the opening of the long-awaited Mohs Surgical Unit with Facial Plastics and Cosmetic Surgery at Group Health Clifton on Monday, October 20, 2014.

“The expansion of the Dermatology Department to include the services of Mohs procedures has been a vision of ours for years,” said Dr. Mathias, Group Health division director of Dermatology.

In this state-of-the-art facility, Dr. Walker, who recently joined Group Health after finishing a Mohs surgery fellowship in Boston, will see patients with skin cancers and perform conservation surgical procedures to definitively treat these cancers.

“As a native Cincinnatian, it is an honor to return home and open a Mohs facility that offers patients conservative, tissue-sparing procedures. I am excited to join the team of reconstructive experts here at Group Health,” Dr. Walker said.

Dr. Walker will collaborate with Reconstructive Surgeons Dr. Morad and Dr. Shumrick to provide comprehensive – and in many cases one-stop – care for the removal and reconstruction of small and large, complex skin cancers. Other members of the surgical skin cancer team include Oncologic Surgeon Erik Dunki-Jacobs MD, specializing in the treatment of melanomas, and General Surgeon Kevin Grannan MD, who manages non-facial skin cancer removals and reconstructions.

Mohs surgery is an extremely effective technique for removing basal cell and squamous cell cancers, the two most common skin cancers. This is accomplished by sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue while completely expunging cancer cells. Mohs differs from other techniques in that microscopic examination of excised tissues occurs during rather than after surgery, eliminating the need to estimate how far out or deep the roots of the skin cancer go. The procedure entails removing one thin layer of tissue at a time. As each layer is removed, the margins are immediately studied under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If persistent tumor is found at the margins, the procedure is repeated until all the margins of the final tissue sample examined are clear of cancer. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in large and complex skin cancer removal and allows the surgical defect to be repaired quickly and efficiently to produce the best therapeutic and cosmetic result for the patient.

“As the diagnosis of skin cancer is becoming epidemic in the United States, Group Health is excited to offer this important service to our many patients in TriHealth as well as to the entire greater Cincinnati area,” said Thomas Tami, MD, Group Health chief medical officer.

“I look forward to providing facial reconstructive care procedures to our patients in need of this type of support following Mohs procedures. One must respect the emotions that a patient goes through when a skin cancer is diagnosed on one’s face,” said Dr. Morad.

“As a member of the Group Health facial reconstructive surgery team, I am pleased to see our vision for comprehensive care come to fruition,” Dr. Shumrick added.

Group Health doctors involved in skin cancer care include: