Surgical dermatology describes a variety of surgical procedures done to treat skin conditions that generally can’t be treated in any other way. The conditions can be harmless, like cysts, or they can be dangerous, like skin cancer.
Mohs surgery is a painstaking and highly effective form of surgical dermatology that is used to treat skin cancer. It is considered the best treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and a growing number of surgeons are using it to treat melanoma.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, and the surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to keep the patient comfortable. They will then excise the visible part of the cancer along with a margin of seemingly normal tissue.
The surgeon will then take the tissue into a lab and, after cutting it into thin slices, they will examine it under a microscope. If they find cancer cells in the margin, they will return to the patient and excise more tissue. They will repeat the process until they have removed all of the cancer.
Since the surgeon removes less tissue during Mohs surgery than during other procedures, it is particularly useful for treating places like the face or hands where retaining a normal appearance is vital.
There are two ways to remove a mole: shave removal or surgical excision. The latter is the more common method. Both are outpatient procedures. The goal is to remove the mole in an effective manner, without leaving behind much of a scar.
During a shave removal, the surgeon will use a scalpel to scrape away the layers of the mole until it is level with the surrounding skin or very slightly below. They will administer a local anesthetic beforehand.
As with shave removal, the doctor will give the patient a local anesthetic before performing an excision. They will then cut around the mole and remove it. If the surgeon suspects the mole may be cancerous, they will also remove a ring of healthy-looking tissue to make certain they got all of the cancer. The surgeon will then stitch the wound closed.
If you are interested in learning more about your options for surgical dermatology, feel free to reach out to the educated staff at SKC Dermatology. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have or address any concerns. We are conveniently located in Paramus, NJ. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a member of our team!