COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD),
there are three reasons for performing skin surgery:
- To establish a definitive diagnosis with a skin biopsy
- To prevent or provide early control of disease
- To improve the skin’s appearance by removing growths, discolorations, or damaged skin caused by aging, sunlight or disease
The following are common dermatologic surgical procedures:
- Curettage & electrodesiccation involve scraping away suspicious or unwanted tissue with a sharp surgical instrument called a curette. An electrosurgical unit may then be used to stop bleeding and remove a zone of normal tissue.
- Surgical excision involves cutting into the skin, removing the growth, and then closing the wound with stitches.
- Biopsy means to remove a small piece of the skin for examination under the microscope for diagnosis.
- Cryosurgery involves the use of a machine that sprays liquid nitrogen directly onto the skin, or contacts the skin with an instrument, which freezes the tissue to be destroyed. Freezing can destroy cancer cells, and wound healing will occur with minimal scarring.
- Topical chemotherapy involves the application of a chemical, 5-fluorouracil , which destroys precancerous growths and sometimes cancerous tissue.
- Cosmetic surgical procedures are procedures done to improve one’s appearance. The patient is responsible for the charge which would be discussed and explained in advance of the procedure.