Many skin conditions can be treated with a topical ointment or an oral medication. Others require more invasive measures. In most instances, skin cancer must be treated with a surgical procedure that can be performed as an outpatient conveniently in the office. If you have a skin care concern that could be addressed by surgical dermatology, contact The Dermatology Group today.
Warts and Other Growths
One of the most common surgical dermatology procedures utilizes liquid nitrogen. Known as cryosurgery, this procedure relies on the application of a liquefied gas that has been cooled to a temperature of about 196 degrees below zero. Cryosurgery is quick and although it causes mild discomfort, this usually passes in just a few moments. After application of the liquid nitrogen, the affected area may become red and slightly inflamed. A few days later, a scab forms. The scab soon falls off, taking the unwanted growth with it. Cryosurgery can be an effective method for getting rid of unsightly warts, skin tags and other growths.
Curettage and Desiccation
Sometimes referred to simply as C&D, curettage and desiccation is frequently used to treat superficial skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This surgical dermatology procedure works because cancerous tissue is generally softer than the surrounding healthy tissue. This means that it can be scraped away using the sharp instrument known as the curette. The area is then treated with heat electrodessication, and heals on its own without stitches.
Excisions and Biopsies
A biopsy is a simple procedure where a small piece of tissue or skin is sampled to help diagnose a lesion or skin condition. A biopsy involves a small amount of local anesthesia and may or may not require a stitch.
During an excision, a larger, deeper specimen is taken for further diagnosis or treatment. The procedure involves a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. With great precision, the dermatologist removes tissue where an abnormal growth appears. The amount of tissue removed can be much larger than what is visible on the surface of the skin. This is so the dermatologist can be certain that all of the affected tissue has been removed. The specimen is then taken to The Dermatology Group's state-of-the-art laboratory facilities where it is prepared for examination. A dermatologist carefully reviews the tissue and may then make recommendations for further treatment. On most occasions, the excision is all that is required to fully remove the tumor or unwanted growth. This procedure is relatively quick and requires minimal downtime.
MOHS Surgery: A Highly Effective Tool in the Battle against Skin Cancer
Perhaps the most advanced and effective surgical tool used by The Dermatology Group is MOHS surgery. No other method of skin cancer treatment boasts such incredibly high success rates. Moreover, this surgery is exceedingly thorough. In the vast majority of cases, the tumor is completely removed while healthy tissue is kept intact. This often means a smaller scar. The procedure also allows the surgeon to immediately perform reconstruction, which minimizes downtime for the patient. MOHS can be an excellent surgical dermatology option for treating skin cancers on the face and other high-risk areas of the skin.
Surgical Dermatology for Your Health
Surgical dermatology procedures are sometimes required to ensure our patients' health and well-being. Contemplating surgery can be nerve wracking, but with the highly skilled dermatologists at The Dermatology Group you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that you're working with some of the best surgeons in the region. With solid educational backgrounds, many years of experience with surgical dermatology and a commitment to providing outstanding patient care, the practitioners at The Dermatology Group guarantee patients a comfortable and reassuring visit.
Our practice emphasizes close follow up to ensure your continued health and well-being in dealing with a cancer of the skin. We will explain all options for treatment and advise you on what option is best for your personal situation.
For additional information on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, please visit the following sites: