Skin Cancer Removal
Conveniently located to serve Jacksonville, FL
Just hearing the word cancer causes fear in most people and even though the recovery rates can be very good with certain types that are caught early on it is always difficult to accept such a diagnosis. If you suspect that you may have any type of skin cancer (also known as melanoma or carcinoma) then you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you catch it the better your chances of recovery are. It is far better to see a doctor unnecessarily than to make an incorrect diagnosis upon yourself. Even though there are many good books and websites explaining how to tell a malignant mole from a benign one there are always exceptions to the rule.
Skin Cancer Removal
The squamous or basal cell skin cancer can be removed using curettage or electrodissection, Mohs surgery or surgical excision. This may also be followed by skin reconstruction along with its surrounding tissue. More tissues are to be removed since the squamous cancerous cells can be rather aggressive. That is why, apart from the initial surgery, a follow up treatment may also be required, for example, radiation therapy or medication. Surgeons will be using energy beams for the penetration of the skin thereby killing the cancerous cells within the body. Here are two popular methods for skin cancer removal.
Curettage and electrodissection
Curettage and electrodissection is an outpatient process and the doctors will usually numb the skin using a local anaesthetic. A tool known as the curette which is a tiny scoop with sharpened edges is used to scrape off the cancerous cells. The surgeons will then apply electricity to stop the bleeding. This process is repeated many a time till the doctor bandages the area. However, one may notice a small, white or pinkish raised scar on the skin following the procedure.
This procedure is ideal for the basal cancerous cells that have not penetrated the topmost layer of the skin and are not located near the lips and the eyes. This is a quick and simple procedure that avoids the hassle of any surgery while getting rid of the skin cancer cells that are aggressive.
Standard excision through surgery
In the case of a standard excision through surgery, the doctor removes an entire tumour with the border of the healthy tissues. The doctor closes the incision by stitching it up. The tissue is then sent to a laboratory to confirm if the entire tumour has been removed safely or not.
In the early stages of development skin cancer removal can be quick and relatively painless. The surgeon will give sedation to the patient to help them relax, apply a local anesthetic to the affected area and cut out the cancer with a small margin of healthy tissue. This ensures that all of the cancerous skin cells are captured. An inspection of the area will then be done and if necessary, more tissue will be removed. If the growth is more advanced and a larger area is to be removed, then the doctor may put the patient under general anesthetic. The amount of scarring will depend upon the amount of tissue removed. It may need as little as a few stitches to close the incision or it may be that a skin graft is required to cover the open area. In more advanced cases it may be that some other treatment is necessary in conjunction with skin cancer removal surgery, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. All of these issues should be discussed with your doctor during your consultation and, if necessary, you may be referred to a an oncologist for a further diagnosis.
How to Prepare for Skin Cancer Removal
The recovery period after skin cancer removal may take one to three weeks. It is best to arrange for time off work and to avoid strenuous activities, since this leads to better and faster healing. If physically taxing household chores must be done, it is recommended to take care of them in advance.
Meal preparation in advance will allow for more rest time and ensure proper nutrition after surgery. Be sure to prepare at least a week’s worth of protein-rich food with fruits and vegetables. These types of food will help restore and build tissues faster and provide vitamins and minerals that aid in wound healing.
Arrange your transportation to and from the surgical facility in advance. Have a trusted family member or friend give you a ride home.
It is important to be well rested before the surgery. Avoid alcohol consumption 48 hours before the surgery and food intake 8 hours before the surgery. Alcohol can risk excessive bleeding and blood clots. Eating food near your appointment time can risk nausea and vomiting during the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, shower and wash your hair and face with mild products. You may not be allowed to wash for 24 hours to prevent a higher risk of infection. Wear loose buttoned-up tops to change clothes easily and avoid direct contact on the wounds.
Contact Us to Learn More
Schedule a consultation with Posh Plastic Surgery to learn more about skin cancer removal in Jacksonville. Our medical experts will recommend the best treatment for your cancerous lesion.