Skin Cancer Surgeries

Submitted by Patrick Hatfield on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 12:19 pm

Skin cancer is a very common cancer in the world today and there are several types of surgeries that can be utilized to remove cancerous lesions.  Understanding the options is imperative in having the best outcome possible.  Dermatologists care for thousands of people with skin cancer each year.  The goal is to completely remove the cancer and the surrounding borders, but still keeping your body looking as normal as possible.

Mohs Surgery

One of the most popular choices for skin cancer cell removal is called the Mohs surgery.  This is a tissue-sparing procedure that removes certain forms of skin cancer.  The most common types of cancer that is treated with this technique are squamous and basal skin cancers.  This technique is recommended for cancers located in sensitive areas like the face, scalp, hands, or genital area.  It is also recommended for large areas and for those skin cancers that are growing quickly.  This technique preserves the healthy skin and leaves your skin looking as normal as possible depending on the area to be treated.

Laser Therapy and Light Therapy

Advances in technology can help with the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Various lasers can be selected to help with the type of skin cancer that is occurring.  The laser is used instead of a scalpel to remove cancerous skin. The laser destroys the cancer with heat and can be used in very sensitive areas as well.

Cryosurgery

Also known as cryotherapy, this type of surgery uses liquid nitrogen, which is sprayed directly on the skin and it kills the cancer cells by freezing them.  Once the scab forms it will heal and fall off in about a week.  Sometimes, you may need to repeat the treatment to make sure all the cells are destroyed.  This area of skin may have a lighter color after the treatment and sometimes it also loses hair follicles that were there prior to the surgery.  This is usually not used for melanoma cancers.

Curettage

This is not recommended for deep skin cancers, but those that are just on the surface of the skin.  A curette is used to scrape off the cancerous tissue with a pen-like tool with a sharp loop at one end.  Electricity is used to remove any remaining cancer cells and also helps to stop the bleeding.  This will usually heal on its own without requiring any stitches. This is only used for non-melanoma type skin cancers.

Scar Rejuvenation

There are also several things that dermatologists can do to minimize the appearance of scars.  Steroid injections are one way to help with scar minimization by minimizing the itching, redness, and burning sensations in a scar and to decrease the size of the scar and hopefully soften the scar itself.  Dermabrasion is another technique that can be used to remove the outer layers of the scar to minimize its appearance.  Laser treatments are also useful treatments to reduce the appearance of scars.  You can also perform surgeries to minimize severe scarring and tighten the skin.