A small cancerous area on the skin can be removed quickly and easily, as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. The process may involve a simple excision (leaving a thin, faint scar) or the growth may be scraped out with an electric current (curettage and desiccation) to control bleeding and kill any remaining cancer cells. This leaves a slightly larger, white scar. Both skin cancer surgical procedures entail low risks.
A larger cancerous area on the skin, or one that has spread elsewhere in the body, may require more major surgery. Other possible skin cancer treatments include cryosurgery (freezing the cancer cells), radiation therapy (using x-rays), and Mohs surgery, a special procedure that shaves off the cancer one layer at a time. Mohs surgery is performed only by specially-trained physicians, and often requires further reconstructive procedures as a follow-up.
Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery provides state-of-the-art skin cancer and reconstructive surgery in a comfortable healing environment. Contact us to learn more about your options, or to set up a consultation with our board-certified surgeon.