Dermatosurgery is the surgical treatment of skin lesions.
There are many different surgical techniques for removing benign and malignant skin lesions under local anaesthesia. Depending on the diagnosis, location and size and the patient’s skin type there are different options.
Types of lesion to remove surgically are:
Benign lesions, such as naevi (moles), dermatofibroma, syringoma, xanthelasma, lipoma or cysts.
Malignant skin tumors, such as basal cell carcinoma, spinocellular carcinoma and melanoma.
Types of surgical procedures:
- Excision: The lesion is cut away in an ellipse shape cut and then sutured.
- Curettage: With a curette, a type of sharp spoon, a superficial lesion can be scraped off.
- Cryosurgery: The use of liquid nitrogen ‘freezes’ the skin lesion to destroy it superficially, is also called cryotherapy.
- Electrocoagulation: The use of an electrical blade to cut and coagulate the skin.
- Laser: Certain skin lesions, both in the face and on the body, can be removed with a surgical ablative CO2 laser.
- Nail surgery: Nail surgery involves the operation of ingrown toenails, the removal of growths on the toenail, and other surgical treatments of the nail.
Mohs surgery (Micrographic Oriented Histo-Surgery)
Mohs surgery is intended to treat certain types of skin cancer that are not to be removed with a simple excision. This usually concerns larger and more complex forms of skin cancers, such as ones with more aggressive growth, or in a cosmetic area that is difficult to operate on. With Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed, sparing the surrounding healthy skin as much as possible. The removed tissue is immediately sent for histologic examination under the microscope to determine if the skin cancer has been completely excised. If not, a re-excision is done in the following hours. This is repeated until the lesion has been completely removed. The recurrence rate with Mohs surgery is much less compared to normal excision.
Good to know before every procedure:
Avoid taking blood thinners (eg. aspirin) for 5 days before the procedure or tell us if you need to take blood thinners.
A consultation takes place before every intervention. Some interventions can take place immediately, if it concerns a small lesion. Surgeries for larger or multiple lesions are scheduled at a later time to allow for the necessary time and preparations for the surgery.