New MOHS Surgery Lab for Dr Derek Odendaal at Neoderm
A First for the Eastern Cape
Dr Frederick Mohs introduced a surgical technique in 1938 to remove skin cancers guided by the microscope to ensure complete removal on a histological level. This technique has become the “Gold Standard” worldwide for skin cancer removal ensuring a 99% success rate.
Dr Odendaal has been doing slow / modified MOHS surgery for the past 18 years, however, without a dedicated MOHS surgery histopathology lab on site. This changed in May when he fulfilled his career dream when he opened the 1st MOHS surgery lab for the Eastern Cape in Port Elizabeth and only the 3rd in South Africa.
Patients can now benefit from same-day surgery for skin cancers. Patients are booked into theatre where he will remove the skin cancer and check the tissue microscopically to ensure complete removal. If there is more cancer present, this will be removed and rechecked. Only when there is no more cancer to be detected will he close the wound either by direct closure, skin grafting or complicated flap surgery.
All of this will be done by him and patients can leave the hospital with the reassurance and comfort knowing that the problem has been taken care of completely and professionally. He has extensive surgical experience, having trained in Mohs surgery in Newcastle, (England), Vancouver, (Canada) and Burlington, Vermont (USA). He completed a fellowship in MOHS micrographic surgery in Vermont in 2016.
“It has always been my dream to start up my own histopathology lab and read my own pathology. This, combined with my passion for skin cancer surgery, marries both worlds. The benefit to patients goes without saying and that peace of mind is what my patients will go home with.” Dr Derek, R. Odendaal.
We at Neoderm are proud to offer this exclusive service to our patients. We have been seeing patients for a good few years from as far as Mauritius coming to Port Elizabeth for their skin cancer surgery, which substantially adds value to our patient care.
Dr.Derek Odendaal works alone at the Neoderm Dermatology Centre, assisted by qualified nurse, Hazel Pettitt. Elna Viljoen is our newest member of the team and is the MOHS lab technician preparing all the tissue specimens for microscopy.