Skin Cancer Surgery in Houston
Skin Cancer Surgery
Basal cell carcinoma has many presentations, but often presents as a small, pearly papule. It can also look like a non-healing sore or like a pimple that doesn’t go away.
Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a scaly, red patch or a crusty bump.
Malignant melanoma is a more serious type of skin cancer. It is often asymmetrical, with scalloped or ragged edges and a variety of colors, including brown, black, blue, and red.
Skin cancer surgery is the most common method to remove (and cure) skin cancer. It is one of the most common surgical procedures in dermatology, as well as plastic surgery. We offer a wide range of skin cancer treatment solutions for people in the Houston area. With both a dermatologist and plastic surgeon in the same facility, we are able to provide excellent and convenient skin cancer care.
Types of Skin Cancer
Common types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. BCC develops in the basal cells of the epidermis. It grows slowly and very rarely metastasizes. If untreated, BCC can grow quite large, causing disfigurement and discomfort.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the next most common type of skin cancer. SCC can grow slowly or it can be more aggressive. SCC can sometimes metastasize, especially if it is located on the ear or the lip. In very rare cases, SCC may even cause death.
Malignant melanoma is a more serious type of skin cancer. It is being diagnosed with increasing frequency, especially in southern states like Texas. Melanoma can be cured with surgery if it is found early. However, lesions that are allowed to grow can be incurable.
Skin cancer can be disfiguring and can pose a serious threat to your health. Dr. Young Cho and Dr. Melissa Chiang have the expertise to biopsy and diagnose suspicious lesions. They also routinely treat skin cancer and perform reconstructive surgery to minimize aesthetic defects.
About Skin Cancer Surgery
If you have received skin cancer diagnosis that has been confirmed by biopsy, you may be a good candidate for treatment. Thanks to continual advancement in surgical techniques, there are now multiple ways to treat skin cancer. Some of these approaches include:
- Surgical excision
- Mohs surgery
- Radiation therapy
Curettage is one treatment modality for certain kinds of skin cancer. It is a simple procedure for the patient and it is ideal for certain types of basal cell skin cancers in certain locations. The cancer is scraped out with a sharp blade. This leaves a round scar that is usually a little more pale than the surrounding skin. Simple excision can often remove skin cancer quickly and easily. The lesion is excised (cut out) and the wound is carefully closed. This can be done in the office under local anesthetic.
For certain patients that have larger lesions or lesions in sensitive areas, Dr. Cho can perform the procedure in the operating room under general anesthesia. This is sometimes more comfortable for the patient. Mohs micrographic surgery is a procedure for BCC or SCC that occur in cosmetically-sensitive areas such as the eyelid, lip, or ear.
After Skin Cancer Surgery
Skin cancer surgery aftercare varies considerably, depending on the treatment, your health history, and the extent of the skin cancer. We will provide specific post-operative instructions, so you know what to expect. Most patients experience only minor discomfort. All patients will have a scar – there is no such thing as scarless surgery. In any case, it is imperative that you begin preventative measures to avoid recurrence of skin cancer. These include sun protection and regular visits with your dermatologist to scan for new skin cancers.
Learn more about our comprehensive skin cancer solutions at Integrated Aesthetics. Contact us to inquire about an appointment by calling our Houston office at (281) 404-5454. We are conveniently located just north of downtown Houston.