History of the ESMS

In 1967 the American College of Mohs surgery was founded by dr Frederic E. Mohs. Since then the technique was introduced in Europeand practiced by a few dermatologists.  The interest in Mohs surgery grew when in the 1970s the fresh  frozen technique became available. Meanwhile, in particularly Germany (Breuninger) introduced adaptations of the “Mohs” technique: Tubinger Torte and later so called 3D-Histopathology.

In 1992 in Estoril Portugal, the European Society for Micrographic Surgery was founded as an initiative of European dermatologists (among them: Antonio Picoto, Martino Neumann, Diane Roseeuw) with an interest in skin cancer surgery, Mohs surgery and dermatosurgery.  The executive board was composed of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and historian.

The standards of the European Society for Micrographic Surgery were defined and include: 1. excision of tissues (with or without in situ-fixation) 2. Complete microscopic examination of the entire peripheral margin of the excised tissue by systematic use of histological sections. 3. The sections must be prepared in a laboratory under the supervision of the micrographic surgeon. 4. Microscopic examination of the tissue is performed by the micrographic surgeon.  Whilst in the USA mohs surgery is mainly the fresh frozen technique, in Europe a variery of techniques (fresh frozen Mohs technique or slow-mohs 3D techniques)  of precisely identifying tumor and remove it with minimal damage to surrounding health tissue are used.

The first scientific meetings were organized with the International Society of Dermatologic Surgery or with the European Academy for Dermatology and Venerology (EADV).

Since 2000 the Scientific program of the ESMS is incorporated at the EADV-meetings. The ESMS is a Sister Society of the EADV and has at least one annual Board Meeting.

Nowadays the ESMS has members from over 25 European Countries and beyond.


Gertruud Krekels MD, PhD
Dermatologist and Mohs surgeon
President of the ESMS 2006-2012