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    What is a dermatologic surgeon?

    Part of a progressive medical subspecialty, ASDS member dermatologists perform medically necessary and cosmetic procedures to improve the health, function and beauty of skin through every stage of life.

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    From forehead furrows to frown lines…

    Performing more than 5 million cosmetic procedures each year, ASDS member dermatologists offer many treatments that are less intense, safer and have quicker recovery times than ever before.

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    1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year

    Any suspicious new growths or changes should be examined by a dermatologist immediately. ASDS member dermatologists are trained to select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient.

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    From excess fat to wrinkles…

    Offering a range of office-based cosmetic procedures, ASDS member dermatologists can select the appropriate treatment choice to meet your individual goals.

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Skin Cancer Facts

 
 

Your dermatologic surgeon will select the most appropriate treatment for a particular skin cancer, or precancerous condition, from among the following procedures and techniques:

Curettage and electrodesiccation

This technique may be used to treat small basal cell and squamous cell tumors by scraping the tumor with a curette (a surgical instrument shaped like a long spoon) and then using an electric needle to gently burn or “cauterize” the remaining cancer cells and a margin of normal-looking tissue.

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery may be used to treat some small primary basal cell and squamous cell tumors as well as a few recurrent lesions. Cryosurgery involves freezing the tumor. The frozen cancer cells are destroyed by the freezing and slough off, allowing the underlying normal skin to heal.

Excision

Excision may be used to treat both primary and recurrent tumors by surgically removing the tumor and an area of healthy looking skin (margin) around the tumor. In some cases, the wound does not require treatment and is allowed to heal on its own. When closure is necessary, the wound may be closed with stitches, skin from another area of the body (skin graft), or healthy skin moved from a nearby area (skin flap). After surgery, the excised tissue is examined under a microscope to see if any cancer cells were present in the skin that appeared cancer free.

Laser surgery 

Laser surgery may be used in certain cases to vaporize superficial and multiple basal cell carcinomas and to excise or destroy squamous cell carcinoma. Laser surgery does not destroy cancer cells found deeper in the skin so close follow-up with a dermatologist is important.

Mohs micrographic surgery

Mohs involves first removing the visible tumor and then successive layers of skin one at a time until no more cancer cells are shown on microscopic examination. Once skin cancer is no longer visible, the surgical wound is treated as needed. Methods include allowing the wound to heal naturally, closing the wound with stitches, covering the surgical site with skin from another area of the body (skin graft), and moving healthy skin from a nearby area to cover the surgical wound (skin flap).

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