Dermatologic surgery refers to that subspecialty of dermatology that manages skin conditions through surgical procedures. These procedures may involve the superficial layers of the skin or extend through to the underlying layers of muscle or fat below depending on the condition being treated. All of our physicians routinely perform dermatologic surgery, and also receive ongoing education and training to provide state-of-the-art surgical care.
There are many different forms of dermatologic surgical procedures. For example, for those conditions that are on the surface of the skin, our doctors may choose to remove them by simply shaving or snipping them off with a surgical scalpel or scissor respectively, by destroying them with a cold spray of liquid nitrogen or a special beam of light through our lasers, or electrical destruction with special instruments made for that purpose. Examples of conditions that might be treated would be benign problems such as moles, age spots, skin tags, or cancerous conditions where the cancer is in only the upper layers of the skin.
The surgical excision is a procedure whereby a growth is cut out and the resulting wound is closed with sutures. It allows for removal of conditions that involve potentially deeper layers of the skin. Examples of benign growths requiring excision are cysts, certain moles, fatty tumors (lipomas), and birthmarks. Excision is also commonly used for skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.
Your dermatologist may recommend Mohs surgery if you are diagnosed with a skin cancer. This specialized form of excisional surgery is used for lesions that may be larger, recurrent, more aggressive, or located on certain body areas. This outpatient procedure provides the highest cure rate for many skin cancer types, including basal and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma and other rare or aggressive skin cancers. Mohs surgery is unique because it allows the Mohs surgeon to precisely remove skin cancers without removing large amounts of normal skin. Please visit the Mohs section to learn more about that procedure.
The dermatologic surgical procedures performed in this office are all done under local anesthesia. In times past, many of these procedures were done under heavier levels of sedation or general anesthesia, but advances and use of local anesthetics have allowed transfer of many these procedures to the far more safe outpatient setting. Performed in this setting, there is not only a quicker return to normal activities, but a far lower rate of infection. In addition, most recoveries have either minimal or moderate discomfort, which is controlled with just Tylenol.
We designed and built our office to deliver dermatologic surgical procedures efficiently and with the highest possible quality.