Skin Cancer Surgery
Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery specializes in the diagnosis and surgical removal of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Our board-certified, dermatology-specialized surgeons emphasize the use of Mohs micrographic surgery, a skin cancer surgery that spares as much healthy tissue as possible, as well as excision surgery for large skin tumors.
Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime. Most skin cancer results from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. In Florida, diagnoses for melanoma skin cancer, which can be fatal, exceed the national average, while treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer increased nearly 80 percent between 1994 and 2014.
Skin cancer incidence rates also increase with age because sun damage is cumulative, although the risks can be brought on early by indoor tanning beds and not wearing sunscreen. Early detection of skin cancer results in the best options for treatment. Actinic keratosis (AK), a non-cancerous scaly growth, can indicate a higher chance of developing skin cancer.
Meanwhile, red nodules, swollen borders around moles, and sores that won’t heal can be symptoms of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Make an appointment for dermatology services as soon as you suspect the onset of skin cancer symptoms. At Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery, our cancer experts can diagnose any type of skin cancer as well as perform skin cancer removal surgery.
Types Of Skin Cancer Removal Surgery
Our skin surgery center offers surgical procedures for three main types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Our experienced cancer specialists can diagnose your skin’s condition in one visit and recommend the most effective treatment, whether it is Mohs surgery, excision, or a non-surgical remedy.
Surgeons at Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery have specialized training in Mohs microscopic surgery, an outpatient procedure that effectively treats most types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. In some situations, Mohs surgery can also treat melanoma skin cancer. Since it was introduced by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs in the 1930s, Mohs microscopic surgery has become the most advanced treatment for most types of skin cancer.
The procedure targets skin tumors precisely, allowing surgeons to remove cancerous growths but leave healthy tissue intact. Mohs surgery can be performed anywhere on the body, and common places include the nose, forehead, scalp, ear, and other areas that receive direct sunlight.
What You Should Expect During Mohs Surgery
During Mohs surgery at Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery, the surgeon marks the visible area of skin cancer and injects a local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine and epinephrine. The doctor then cuts out the skin cancer in a circle and stops any bleeding of the wound. The area is bandaged, and you are allowed to relax in the reception area while the tissue is processed in our lab. The doctor uses a microscope to examine the removed tissue to see whether any areas have cancer remaining.
This stage lasts between 45 minutes to one hour and a half. If there are areas of cancer left, the surgeon removes more microscopic layers of tissue, one by one, and examines them methodically for cancer until only clear margins of healthy tissue exist. The wound, now cancer-free, is stitched closed or left open to heal naturally. The process could take several hours. Afterward, the surgeon’s will provide suggestions for Mohs surgery aftercare, such as how to beware signs of infection.
Out of all skin cancer treatments, Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate (99 percent for untreated skin cancer; 94 percent for recurring episodes). Other benefits of Mohs surgery are that it leaves healthy tissue intact, which leads to shorter recovery times and less visible scarring. The procedure can also be completed in a single visit, and lab work is done on-site. The average cost of a Mohs procedure is also affordable, and the treatment is covered by most insurance plans.