Shelby Dermatology is one of Birmingham’s most trusted center for skin surgeries. With compassion, decades of experience and cutting-edge technology, we provide outstanding care to each of our patients. Being diagnosed with skin cancer or another troubling health issue can be frightening. That’s why we are always available to answer questions and why we strive to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Contact Shelby Dermatology today to schedule a consultation. You’ll quickly discover that our state-of-the-art facilities and friendly medical personnel make your mole removal or skin cancer surgery a much less frightening proposition.
Many patients have difficulty coming to terms with a skin cancer diagnosis. The good news is that this is a highly treatable condition, particularly when it is caught in the early stages. Moreover, improvements in tools and techniques have made related surgeries far less risky and a great deal more successful.
The procedure used depends upon the type of cancer and the lesion being treated. Sometimes it is possible to remove the lesion with a straightforward excision. This is the preferred method when the growth is small and contained. Other small lesions may be removed with a curettage and electrodesiccation procedure in which a curette is used to remove the growth. The tissue beneath the growth is then cauterized. However, sometimes the growth is only partially visible on the surface of the skin, with the larger portion of the growth being beneath the surface. Your dermatologist may suggest MOHS micro-graphic surgery in these cases.
The vast majority of skin cancer surgeries are performed in our conveniently located offices. General anesthesia is not required, and most people return to their normal schedules fairly quickly after having a procedure performed. At Shelby Dermatology, we do our utmost to put you at ease while also providing excellent, quality care. Contact us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment.
Surgical Mole Removal
People seek mole removal for a number of reasons. Sometimes the mole is placed such that it annoys the patient. Perhaps it is placed where clothing rubs against it and causes irritation. Others want to remove a mole because they simply don’t like the way it looks. This is often the case with moles that are prominently placed on the face or neck. Still others will be faced with mole removal when their dermatologist becomes concerned that it is precancerous or cancerous.
Removal of moles, sometimes called nevi by dermatologists, is performed in the doctor’s office and is an outpatient procedure. Nevi are typically removed by excision or by shaving with a scalpel. In either procedure, the area to be treated is cleansed and then numbed. Actually removing the nevi takes just a few minutes. It may be necessary for the doctor to remove some tissue beneath the surface of the skin. This is especially true when the dermatologist is concerned that the nevi is cancerous or precancerous and needs to be certain that all of the affected tissue is removed. Your doctor will test the removed tissue to determine the presence of cancerous growth.
Most people experience little pain or discomfort during and after removal of nevi. One visit is usually enough to completely remove the mole, but your doctor may have you come back a second time for stitch removal or to be certain that the nevi was completely removed. If you have moles that you’re concerned about, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists. Whether your concerns are medical or cosmetic, we are prepared to offer the assistance you need.
Estimates suggest that more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S. each year. While this form of the disease makes up only about two percent of all skin cancer diagnoses, this particular form of the condition causes the most deaths by far. That’s why early detection and treatment are so important.
Melanoma is most common in people who have been overexposed to ultraviolet radiation. Frequently, this exposure comes from the sun. Failing to wear sunscreen or keep the skin otherwise covered while outdoors is the most frequent culprit for this overexposure. However, a growing number of people who use tanning beds are also being diagnosed with this condition. UV rays damage skin cells, and the body isn’t always able to repair all of the damage. Mutations of the cells are triggered by this unrepaired damage, leading to the formation of tumors. While most melanomas are black or brown, they sometimes are red, white, purple, blue or the same color as surrounding skin. Because melanoma is sometimes difficult to detect, it’s enormously important that people regularly visit a dermatologist for skin checks.
Fortunately, surgery can often cure most melanomas in the early stages. Dermatologists make visual inspections of tissue that they suspect is cancerous, then they take a sample in a procedure called a biopsy. The sample is tested, which tells the doctor whether melanoma is present or not. It may be necessary to perform a wide excision after the results of the biopsy. This approach is often used when the melanoma is relatively thin and is likely to be completely removed without a more involved procedure.
Occasionally, the doctor finds suspect tissue on a finger or toe. The melanoma may sometimes be removed entirely with an excision, but if it has grown too deep, an amputation may be necessary. Early detection is the key to avoiding this eventuality, so be certain to schedule regular appointments with your dermatologist.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
In recent years, MOHS micrographic surgery has become one of the best methods for treating the various forms of skin cancer. It was initially practiced in the 1930s, and doctors have greatly refined the techniques since then. MOHS is the most precise and successful of all surgical approaches to the treatment of skin cancer. Your dermatologist may recommend this procedure because of the likelihood that it will cure even the most stubborn cases of the disease.
MOHS micrographic surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in our state-of-the-art medical facility. Most treatments are scheduled to begin fairly early in the morning because the entire process can take several hours depending upon the size and depth of the tumor being removed. Only local anesthesia is required before the doctor begins removing the tissue that is visibly affected by the cancer. A small amount of surrounding tissue will also be removed. This is meant to provide a clear margin of healthy tissue. The removed tissue is then microscopically examined for signs of cancer. If there is no clear margin, then the doctor will remove an additional layer, which will also be examined for clear margins. This process is repeated until all affected tissue has been removed.
MOHS micrographic surgery is the most precise method of removing cancerous tissue. This means that the chances of scarring are minimal. Moreover, it’s far more likely that all affected tissue will be completely removed. MOHS is so effective that it is often used to treat skin cancers that have resisted other forms of treatment. With MOHS micrographic surgery, there is hope for virtually all skin cancer patients.
Contact Shelby Dermatology today to learn more about MOHS micrographic surgery or other surgeries that can correct the various disorders of the skin. Our compassion and experience make us the most trusted dermatologists in the region.