If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer and your doctor advises surgery to remove it, you likely have many concerns. Don’t worry! Many patients have gone before you in this experience, and we’re here to answer your questions as completely and clearly as possible.
Let’s talk about some of the most frequently asked questions about skin cancer surgery and where you can go for skin cancer surgery in Coral Gables, FL.
Will The Surgery Remove All of My Cancer?
Much depends on the type of cancer you have, when it was discovered and when the treatment began. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most prevalent skin cancers, do not spread, or metastasize, beyond the original sites to other areas of the body. So, once removed, these tumors are less likely to recur at the original site.
Other more aggressive cancers, such as malignant melanoma, can spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain and lungs. This makes them more difficult to remove as the cancer cells move through the body’s lymphatic system. If you have a more aggressive form of cancer, your physician may advise treatment with other modalities, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation.
Finally, you should know that Mohs skin cancer surgery features complete removal of cancerous skin lesions. The Mohs method removes tumors thin layer by thin layer as the surgeon is guided by small instruments, a microscope, and pre-surgery mapping of the lesions.
Will I Have Anesthesia During My Procedure?
You should have only local anesthesia for your skin cancer surgery unless the lesion is extensive and deep. Most of these procedures are done on an outpatient basis.
Will I Have a Scar?
The short answer is yes. However, how that scar appears and feels depends on its location, depth, length, and other factors. Most people find that over time, their surgical scars fade, becoming far less obvious.
Additionally, Mohs micrographic surgery techniques are highly tissue-sparing. So, your skin cancer doctor only removes the malignant areas, leaving the healthy tissue behind.
Furthermore, Mohs surgery can allow the surgeon to reconstruct the surgical site after removing the cancerous tissue. Your physician will tell you ahead of time what may happen and what your options for reconstruction are.
How Will My Spot Be Biopsied?
A skin biopsy is a simple procedure in which the surgeon removes a small amount of tissue from the suspect lesion. This is sent to a lab for analysis. Biopsies may be done by scalpel (excision), shave biopsy (thin slice of tissue), needle, or punch instrument.
During Mohs surgery, your surgeon will examine and biopsy each thin section he removes. When a biopsy is determined to be free of cancer cells, tissue removal ceases.
State of The Art Skin Cancer Surgery Options
If you are susceptible to developing skin cancer, examine your skin regularly to find out the signs of cancer early. You must also visit your dermatologist regularly for a thorough physical exam.
At Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, our dermatologist, Dr. Theodore John “TJ” Giuffrida, can detect the signs of skin cancer early, provide comprehensive surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and also educate you on how you can prevent skin cancer from developing in the first place.
To get exceptional care from leading skin experts, book an appointment with our board-certified dermatologist by calling (305) 461-2000 or filling out our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to serving all your skin health care needs.