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Battling skin cancer: Mohs surgical technology

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Published: 09/19/2016

by Kyla Price

“You’ve got skin cancer.” 

 

These life-altering words are ones no one wants to hear, but with surgeons like Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga, of Apex Dermatology, patients in Northeast Ohio have a warrior ready to arm them with a 98% or higher cure rate.

 

Dr. Garcia is one of the few doctors in the state trained to detect and remove skin cancer using Mohs surgery, which offers the highest cure rate in the industry. And now, beginning in October 2016, Dr. Garcia will offer these Mohs surgery services at his state-of-the-art surgical facility in Hudson.

 

“This isn’t just what I do for a living; it’s my passion,” Dr. Garcia says. “My life is focused on helping people come out of difficult situations with confidence and a smile.”

 

Dr. Garcia did his fellowship at Harvard Medical School and served as director of Mohs surgery at University Hospitals’ Westlake Health Center before opening his own practices.

 

To date he has performed more than 10,000 Mohs surgeries and reconstructions and has become a nationally recognized doctor featured in a variety of medical journals.

 

In December 2013, The American Red Cross named Dr. Garcia a Red Cross Hero for the work he has done in detecting and treating cancer. They specifically applauded his SPOTcheck Program, which guarantees patients will be seen within 72 hours if they find a suspicious spot that is new, crusty, scaling, painful, or bleeding. Even though going through the skin cancer removal process can be daunting, Dr. Garcia and his staff make it as easy as possible by providing patients with a relaxing environment, complete with complimentary beverages and soothing music.

 

During the Mohs procedure, Dr. Garcia tracks his work microscopically to ensure all cancerous tissues are removed. This also allows him to remove only what is necessary to ensure restored health, which leads to better cosmetic results. Less than 1% of patients who undergo Mohs have a reappearance of cancer at the same site, so when it’s gone, it’s almost always gone for good.

 

“Mohs is considered the gold standard for treatment of skin cancer of the face, neck, and large areas of the body,” Dr. Garcia says. He explains Mohs is used for non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, in addition to being used for rare tumors like lentigo maligna—a condition that most commonly occurs in people with sun-damaged skin.

 

“In our offices, we perform Mohs as an outpatient procedure, under local anesthesia. There are no facility fees or big O.R. charges, and parking is free.  Patients are seen on time and without long waits to treat their skin cancer once they are diagnosed. We are all about offering the best treatments available without the extra fees,” Dr. Garcia says.

 

Typically, patients do not experience much pain or discomfort after surgery, so most people can avoid missed work and return to their normal activities the next day.

 

Mohs is covered by most insurance plans, and Dr. Garcia is an in-network provider for all major carriers.

 

“We’ve become a preferred skin cancer treatment center in Northeast Ohio because we are efficient and dedicated to our patients. We lead people to successful outcomes through education, prevention, early detection, and state-of-the-art technologies,” says Dr. Garcia. “I am excited to have five locations in the Greater Cleveland area where there is such need for skin cancer services.”

 

Apex Dermatology has five locations to serve the Greater Cleveland/Akron areas. 

• Hudson 330-653-DERM (3376)
• Solon 440-349-SKIN (7546) 
• Mayfield Heights 440-646-1600
• Parma 440-845-1146 
• Concord 440-352-SKIN (7546)

Visit ApexSkin.com for location address and more information. Flexible weekday hours are available. Saturday appointments are available at some locations.