Something bothering you about a new spot on your face?  Have you had a skin tag that constantly gets caught up in your necklace? We are here to help resolve most skin issues, be they cosmetic or potentially life threatening.

Skin lesion removal employs a variety of techniques, from relatively simple biopsies to more complex surgical excisions, to remove lesions that range from benign growths to skin cancers. Sometimes the purpose of skin lesion removal is to excise an unsightly mole or other cosmetically unattractive skin growth. Other times, we will remove a skin lesion to make certain it is not cancerous, and, if it proves cancerous, to prevent its spread to other parts of the body.

Options

A variety of techniques are used to remove skin lesions including biopsy, cryosurgery, excision with a scalpel or laser surgery.

Biopsy

In this procedure a local anesthetic is injected at the site of the skin lesion and then a sample of the lesion is removed, so that a definite diagnosis can be made. The sample is sent to a pathology laboratory, where it is examined under a microscope. Certain characteristic skin cells, and their arrangement in the skin, offer clues to the type of skin lesion, and whether it is cancerous or otherwise poses danger. Depending on the results of the microscopic examination, additional surgery may be scheduled.

Excision

When excising a lesion, we use a scalpel to cut the shape of an ellipse around the lesion.  If a lesion is suspected to be cancerous, we will not cut directly around the lesion, but will attempt to also remove a healthy margin of tissue surrounding it. This is to ensure that no cancerous cells remain, which would allow the tumor to reappear.

Destruction

Not all lesions need to be excised. We may use alternative techniques such as:

Cryosurgery. This technique employs an extremely cold liquid or instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal skin cells that require removal. Liquid nitrogen is the most commonly used cryogen. It is typically sprayed on the lesion in several freeze-thaw cycles to ensure adequate destruction of the lesion.

Lasers

Laser surgery is now applied to a variety of skin lesions, ranging from spider veins to more extensive blood vessel lesions called hemangiomas.  Our Cutera Nd:YAG and flashlamp-pumped pulse dye laser can achieve more selective resu lts when used to treat vascular lesions, such as hemangiomas, or pigmented lesions, such as café-au-lait spots.

Preparation

No extensive preparation is required for skin lesion removal. Most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic. The lesion and surrounding area is cleaned with an antibacterial compound before the procedure. A sterile operating room is not required.

Depending on the complexity of the skin lesion removal procedure, patients can frequently resume their normal routine the day of surgery. Healing frequently will take place within weeks.

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