When excessive sun damage has been done to the skin over time, skin cancer can occur. Whether its basal cell, squamous cell, or melanoma skin cancer, there are a number of removal techniques that can be done. Read on to learn more about them and what to expect if you are undergoing treatment.
During the excision technique, the skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, the tumor is cut out with a surgical knife, along with some surrounding skin. The area is then stitched back together. While this technique will leave a scar, there are many creams that can be used to lessen a scar’s appearance.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
During this treatment, the cancer is scraped away using a long, thin instrument with a looped edge at one end, called a curette. The area is then treated with an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This process is usually repeated during the same office visit. This technique is a good treatment for superficial basal cell and squamous cell cancers.
Sometimes, Mohs surgery is used when there is a high risk of cancer returning after treatment, when the extent of the skin cancer is not known, or when the goal is to save as much healthy skin as possible. During this procedure, a very thin layer of the skin is removed and then checked under a microscope. If the cancer cells are still detected, another layer is removed and examined. This process is repeated until the skin samples are free of cancer cells. This can help the area to look more aesthetically pleasing after surgery.
Skin Grafting and Reconstruction
After surgery to remove a large basal or squamous cell skin cancer, it may not be possible to stretch the remaining skin enough to close the wound. In these cases, skin grafting can be used to help the wound heal and restore a more natural appearance to the area. Other reconstructive procedures may also be used in some cases.
As you can see, there are many skin cancer removal techniques available today. If you are interested in learning more about skin cancer and skin cancer removal in St. Petersburg, FL, contact our office today.