Avana Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer our clients skin cancer removal surgery in Miami from a team of esteemed, licensed plastic surgeons. Choosing the right team to handle this procedure is an important decision. In this article, we'll cover what surgical and treatment options look like for the average patient seeking skin cancer removal. At our state-of-the-art plastic surgery clinic in South Florida, patients have access to several top-tier options.
Types of Skin Cancer
The three most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Here's a closer look at each one:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. It commonly forms on the head, neck, arms, chest, and any other area of the face or body that has experienced prolonged sun exposure. While anyone can get BCC, it is especially prevalent in people with fair skin. BCC often appears as a flesh-colored mound, pink-tinged patch of skin, or pearl-shaped bump. BCC can grow deep. In fact, early diagnosis and removal are important for preventing disfigurement caused by a growth penetrating nerves and bones.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): This common form of skin cancer often presents as a firm, red bump. It can also show up as a scaly patch or sore. SCC is especially common on the face, neck, chest, arms, back, and ears. Early detection and treatment are important for preventing SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.
- Melanoma: The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma spreads more easily than other skin cancers. It often develops within a mole. Causes of Skin Cancer
The top cause of skin cancer is exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Both natural sunlight and artificial rays from tanning beds can increase risks for skin cancer. Many people are surprised to learn that you can develop skin cancer from causes other than the sun. Smoking increases risks for basal cell carcinoma and melanoma by damaging the skin. Additionally, having a lighter skin tone and cancer-related genes within moles can increase risks for skin cancer.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Any markings or changes in the appearance of the skin should be considered potential red flags. It's essential to be screened immediately if you've noticed any changes on your skin. Some common symptoms of skin cancer include:
- Red, scaly patches.
- Moles that change in size, shape, or color.
- A persistent sore spot on the skin.
- Unusual marks or blemishes on the skin.
- Itchiness or oozing.
- A bump under the skin.
- Changes in the appearance of toenails or fingernails.
- Oozing or bleeding from a mole or patch of skin.
In some cases, the visible signs of skin cancer are accompanied by medical symptoms. Sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or weight loss can all be signs of skin cancer affecting the head and neck. Don't delay in getting medical attention if you suspect skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Removal Surgery Procedure
Once a biopsy and other testing have confirmed skin cancer, patients will discuss options for removing the cancerous growth or patch from the skin. At Avana Plastic Surgery, our skilled surgical team offers the following removal options.
Electrodessication and Curettage
Curettage and electrodesiccation may be recommended for superficial basal and squamous cell cancers that are confined to the top layer or skin. In some cases, this procedure may also be appropriate for precancerous skin tumors. To start, the surgeon injects the treatment area with a numbing medicine. Next, a long, thin instrument called a curette is used to scrape the tumor away. An electric needle containing an electrode is then used to destroy remaining cancer cells.
Standard Surgical Excision
Standard surgical excision is used for basal and squamous cell skin cancers. During this procedure, the entire growth is removed using local anesthesia. A small border of healthy tissue is also taken to ensure completeness of removal via lab testing. The surgical area is then enclosed with incisions. After removal, the tumor and bordering tissue are sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope to confirm that the full tumor was extracted.
Mohs surgery is a form of micrographic surgery that is used to treat basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. During Mohs surgery, the surgeon fully removes the skin cancer after the surgical area has been numbed. A small amount of bordering healthy tissue is also removed. Removal and lab work are done in stages while a patient waits to allow for a higher cure rate. If testing finds that the entire tumor wasn't removed, the surgeon will remove more tissue during the same visit.
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Benefits of Skin Cancer Removal Surgery
Skin cancer removal surgery is considered the best option for treating growths in most cases. Complete removal eliminates the chance for recurrence. For the patient, removal surgery often requires a simple outpatient visit using local anesthesia. This benefits patients because it's a cost-effective, convenient option. In addition, skin cancer removal allows for preservation of healthy skin.
Recovery After Skin Cancer Removal Surgery
Following skin cancer removal surgery, wounds generally take one to three weeks to heal. Healing times will vary based on the size and depth of the removal area. Patients are given instructions for cleaning and caring for wounds. You may also be told to avoid strenuous activity involving the surgical area.
Risks and Complications of Skin Cancer Removal Surgery
While skin cancer removal surgery is generally considered to be a minimally invasive procedure, patients may experience pain, scarring, infection, or incomplete excision. Your surgeon will discuss all of the potential risks and complications of the procedure that is recommended to you based on the specifics of your growth.
Cost of Skin Cancer Removal Surgery in Miami
Costs for skin cancer removal surgery in South Florida can vary widely based on the location and cancer type. It's impossible for a medical professional to provide a quote or estimate without examining a patient. Costs generally range from $250 to $500. While a cosmetic surgeon can perform skin cancer removal surgery, this is not considered an elective or cosmetic procedure. Insurance will generally cover partial or full costs associated with skin cancer removal.
Contact a Skin Cancer Removal Specialist in Miami
Avana Plastic Surgery understands the many thoughts and concerns that are racing through your mind following a skin cancer diagnosis. While your primary goal is to preserve your health, you also want to make sure that you trust this procedure to a surgeon with an understanding of how to preserve your appearance. Rest assured that our surgical team is focused on helping our patients get the care they need to move forward. Contact us today for a skin cancer removal consultation in Miami.