If you have recently received a skin cancer diagnosis, you may be wondering more about the surgical options available to you. Those with certain types of skin cancer -- namely, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas -- may have heard about a certain type of surgery called Mohs. This procedure aims to remove as much of the cancer as possible while preserving the healthy tissue around it, a technique that can drastically reduce the risk of needing treatments or other surgery in the future. In today's post, we'll learn a bit more about Mohs procedures and whether this is an option you or someone you know may want to explore.
What exactly is Mohs surgery?
Named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed this surgical technique in the 1930s, it's one of the most effective ways to remove the two most common types of skin cancer. While this procedure has been refined since it was first developed, countless surgeons still rely on this principle to remove cancer from their patients.
What types of cancer can be removed with a Mohs procedure?
Typically, skin doctors use this technique on patients with basal cell carcinoma (known as BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (known as SCC). However, Mohs surgery can be used to treat other kinds of skin cancers in certain situations. This procedure is often a good option if a patient's skin cancer is likely to recur or has returned after previous treatments; if the affected area is large or the cancer spreads quickly; the growth has uneven edges; or it's located in an area that requires as much healthy tissue preservation as possible.
What are the advantages to this type of surgery?
First and foremost, this type of procedure has an extremely high success rate. In fact, Mohs has a 98% to 99% success rate in curing skin cancer. While no treatment comes with a guarantee, it's an option that's proven to be immensely effective over and over again. In addition, the fact that this technique allows a patient to keep as much healthy tissue as possible is a huge advantage -- not only for appearances but also for function, especially in difficult areas that don't have a lot of room for tissue loss. It's also a method that can help when other techniques have failed while providing procedural site repair on the same day the cancer is actually removed, in many cases.
How long does this procedure take?
Typically, this procedure will last several hours, but every case is different. Patients should plan on spending the entire morning at our office. Following the removal of your skin cancer, you can expect to have the wound closed with sutures. You will get to return home the same day and do not need to stay in the hospital or any other facility. Your skin care specialist will go over the particulars of your case with you prior to performing your procedure to let you know what you can expect.
What happens after the surgery?
In most cases, you will be able to drive yourself home following your procedure. If your surgeon feels you will need a driver, you will be informed of this before your visit. You may experience redness, swelling, bleeding, and general discomfort following the procedure, but these symptoms will not last long. You may also have sutures in this area. Your skin doctor will go over post-surgical care instructions with you prior to the day. You will likely need to schedule a follow-up visit with your skin care specialist to assess the results and see your doctor on a regular basis to ensure you're healthy.
A cancer diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, but you should know that you are not alone and that you have many medical options at your disposal. To find out more about why we are the dermatology specialists for Mohs surgery Panama City FL residents depend on, contact us today.
Learn more about anti-aging treatments from your Panama City dermatologists.
Want to look younger? Anti-aging treatments make it easier to turn back the clock. Dr. Robert Siragusa and Dr. Charles Kovaleski at Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center in Panama City, FL, offer anti-aging treatments to their patients. Read on to learn more about these four anti-aging treatments.
1. Dermal Fillers- Dermal fillers such as Sculptra, Juvederm, and Restylane are used as an effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers will smooth wrinkles by replacing the collagen lost due to skin damage or natural aging. Dermal fillers can also be injected above the soft tissue of the cheeks, lifting the area to correct a sunken or aged appearance.
2. Chemical Peels- Chemical peels can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, improve the appearance of scars, treat acne, and reduce spots, freckles and dark patches. In this treatment, an acid solution is applied to the skin, which causes it to peel off. The new skin is smooth and less wrinkled than the old skin.
3. Dermabrasion- Dermabrasion is used to treat defects and damage in the upper layers of the skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, scars caused by surgery, and color changes in the skin. This procedure involves removing the superficial layers of skin with a rapidly revolving abrasive tool. This process wounds the skin, causing it to bleed. As the wound heals, new skin cells grow to replace the old cells.
4. Laser Resurfacing- Lasers are more effective than ever—for nearly every skin problem under the sun. Laser resurfacing treatments utilize an intense light beam to treat your skin. This procedure is commonly used to treat scars, blemishes, age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, sun damage, and hyper-pigmentation.
If you want to watch your skin issues disappear from your eyes, call Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center at 850-769-SKIN (7546) now to schedule an appointment in Panama City, FL. Our anti-aging treatments will make you look even more beautiful tomorrow than you do today.
If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, find out why surgery may be the number one treatment option.
If one of our Panama City, FL, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Siragusa or Dr. Charles Kovaleski, has recently diagnosed you with skin cancer, then you may be feeling on edge and concerned about how to treat your skin cancer effectively. If we’ve mentioned Mohs surgery you may be wondering more about this surgery and how it can benefit your skin.
What is Mohs surgery and why do I need it?
This procedure is one of the most effective ways to treat different kinds of skin cancer. While there are other skin cancer treatments out there, Mohs surgery offers a high efficiency rate and also preserves more healthy tissue than other treatments. Mohs surgery may be recommended if:
- The cancer is widespread
- The cancer is in a delicate or difficult-to-treat area that requires as much skin preservation as possible
- The cancer has returned after undergoing other skin cancer treatment
- The cancer is growing quickly
What should you expect from the procedure?
Before you undergo this procedure it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with what will go on when you come in for treatment. This way, you can address any questions or concerns with our Panama City skin doctor before we even get started.
While this is considered a surgery, it’s performed right here in our office under local anesthesia. This means the skin will be completely numb and you won’t feel anything but you will be awake. Once the area is fully numb, we will remove the first layer of the tumor. The sample will be examined under the microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells.
We will continue to remove one small layer of the tumor after another until there are no cancer cells present in the sample we collect. While Mohs surgery can take a bit longer than other skin cancer treatments, it’s a great way to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, which also means a less extensive recovery period.
What should I expect after surgery?
Once the tumor has been removed, we will talk to you about reconstructive options for repairing the area to make sure that the skin looks as normal as possible. We will also discuss the best ways to care for your skin as it heals and when you’ll need to come in for a follow-up.
Do you have questions about Mohs surgery? Need to schedule your annual skin cancer screening? Then call Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center in Panama City, FL, today.
Moles are growths that can appear anywhere on the surface of the skin. These moles can be flat, raised, rough, smooth, single or in multiples. They usually happen when cells that are responsible for skin pigments grow in clusters instead of spreading out. These moles generally are small in size, at just one-quarter inch. While most moles are harmless, it’s important to be regularly examined by a Panama City, Florida, dermatologist from Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center to make sure you remain healthy.
More about Moles
Any changes in color, shape, size or texture can indicate cancer growth. Moles that have a higher chance of becoming cancerous are those irregularly-shaped ones that are larger than average and have dark brown centers and light uneven borders are risks. Also, individuals with 50 or more moles are at a higher risk for skin cancer too. This makes it that much more important to have a yearly skin check with a Panama City, Florida, dermatologist from Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center.
Abnormal moles can become scaly, painful or even bleed. Keep an eye on your moles in order to detect any changes early. A visual check of the body once a month is important. By following the American Academy of Dermatology’s guidelines, you can determine whether or not a mole is becoming cancerous:
- Asymmetry: Does the mole match the other half in shape, size or color?
- Border: Are the edges scalloped, poorly defined or irregular?
- Color: Is the mole the same color throughout it?
- Diameter: Is the mole greater than 6 millimeters?
- Evolving: Is the mole different from others on the skin?
If any of these things occur, make an appointment immediately with a professional dermatologist to be examined. A biopsy can be done to determine whether or not the mole is cancerous and it can be surgically removed quickly.
For more information on moles and knowing when you should be checked out, schedule an appointment with a Panama City, Florida, dermatologist from Dermatology Associates Skin and Cancer Center today by calling 850-769-7546.
Let us help you achieve glowing, radiant and healthy-looking skin.
There is nothing more beautiful than gorgeous skin. It’s the largest organ of our body, and also the most noticeable. Our Panama City, FL, dermatologists Dr. Robert Siragusa, Dr. Charles Kovaleski and Dr. Bret Johnson want you to be comfortable in your own skin, which is why they provide an array of services to nip skin problems in the bud:
While there are certainly some lifestyle changes we can recommend for reducing acne outbreaks, in many cases people have tried a lot of different over-the-counter treatments and cleansers without getting the relief they had hoped for. If this sounds like you then our Panama City skin doctors may have some answers. Through medications like antibiotics, retinoids, oral contraceptive (for hormonal acne) or isotretinoin we can tackle everything from mild to severe acne problems. It may take some time to find the treatment that is right for you, but we are dedicated to getting you clearer skin.
PUVA is a UV treatment that may be a good course of action if you have severe dermatitis or a case that is more difficult to treat. Medication is taken a few hours before standing inside the UVA booth. Treatment sessions often occur a couple times a week. Over time, the amount of light that we use to treat your dermatitis will increase.
We are thrilled to be able to offer the Xtrac laser treatment to treat mild-to-moderate forms of psoriasis. If topical treatments haven’t provided you with the results you’ve been hoping for then this laser therapy could. The laser is directed over individual plaques and the procedure only lasts up to 20 minutes. Plus, it’s non-invasive and completely painless.
If years of basking in the sun have taken its toll then our photodynamic therapy system may be a great way to treat the earliest signs of skin cancer, also known as Actinic Keratosis. First, a special topical treatment is placed over the areas. By applying a photosensitizer over the skin and then directing the light source over the area, the light can effectively kill off these damaged skin cells. This procedure can be performed just about anywhere on the body.
Whether you have skin imperfections or just want to give your skin a little cosmetic enhancement, the experts at Dermatology Associates Skin & Cancer Center in Panama City, FL, are here to help.
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