Treating skin cancer, much like any form of cancer, may require surgery to remove cancerous growths. The plastic surgeon can surgically remove cancerous and other skin lesions using specialized techniques designed to preserve the health and appearance of the surrounding skin. Although no surgery is without scars, plastic surgeons make every effort to treat skin cancer without dramatically changing the appearance of the patient.
Depending on the size, type, and location of the lesion, there are many ways to remove skin cancer and reconstruct the area if necessary. Anesthesiologists administer medications to preserve the comfort of the patient during the surgical procedures. The choices include local intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. A surgeon may remove a small or contained lesion with excision--a simple surgical process.
Skin cancer can be like an iceberg. What is visible on the skin surface sometimes is only a small portion of the growth. Beneath the skin, cancerous cells can cover a much larger region and there are no defined borders. In these cases, a surgeon uses a specialized technique called Mohs surgery.