Skin Cancer Surgery

Aug 05, 2016 Comments Off by

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The most common skin cancers, i.e. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma all are typically treated via elliptical excisions. BCCs and SCCs are much more common and usually regular excisions with a 2-3 mm margin beyond the outline of the lesion are adequate in full removal of these cancers.  However a procedure called Mohs Micrographic Surgery is the treatment of choice for BCCs and SCCs greater than 2 cm on the trunk and extremities; for recurrent cancers; for cancers that are ill-defined; for BCCs/SCCs that are 1 cm or larger on the face; for cancers on or around lips, eyelids, ears, and nose; and finally for those BCCs/SCCs which have more aggressive histology on the biopsy. With Mohs Micrographic Surgery, as the lesion is removed, a technician present on the premises makes a slide of the piece removed right away and the margins are checked by the physician under a microscope.  If the cancer is found to be fully removed, then the area is sutured and the procedure is completed.  If the 1st layer removed is evaluated and shows that the margins are not clear, then a second layer is taken, processed and evaluated; this process is repeated until the skin cancer is fully removed with clear margins.  Mohs Micrographic surgery has the highest cure rate, and allows us to minimize scarring in important areas like the face.  Mohs surgery is performed weekly at Southern Sierra Dermatology Clinic.

 

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