Why Skin Cancer Surgery Can Now Be Performed in a Dermatology Clinic

Posted on: 10 July 2017

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At one point, if you were told that you had a touch of skin cancer, you had to wait for a surgical suite in the local hospital before you could have the cancer removed. While that is still true of very large and/or very deep skin cancer masses, other, smaller skin cancer spots can now be removed in a dermatology clinic. Here is why.

Rooms Dedicated to in-House Surgical Treatment

There is little chance of infection when you are surgically removing anything smaller than a quarter from the surface level of the human body. Even so, the nurse in attendance will clean the area, applying iodine as a pre-surgery disinfectant of the skin. With the extremely low risk of infection, many doctors now have rooms in their clinics dedicated to in-house surgical treatments, such as a vasectomy or the removal of a cancerous mole.

Lasers

Many dermatological clinics now have lasers to perform small surgeries. Your dermatologist can use the laser to excise (i.e., remove) the cancerous growth or pre-cancerous cells with precision and next to no bleeding. The laser cauterizes the small blood vessels that feed into the cancerous spot, thereby preventing any mobility of freed cancer cells into the bloodstream as well.

Stitches

If you need any stitches at all, which only occurs when a lesion is a little deeper than a quarter of an inch, your dermatologist has surgical needles pre-threaded with surgical suture that arrive in sterile packaging. The nurse removes the needle and suture from the packaging with sterile forceps and hands it to the doctor. The doctor uses the same forceps to hold and guide the suture to seal the skin together over the small wound.

If anything, you may get one to three stitches. Your dermatologist may also decide to skip the suture and opt for "skin glue" and a butterfly bandage. This is just as effective, clean, and bacteria-free, as stitches, and it does not leave a scar like the stitches would. All of this can be done in a dermatology clinic, too.

No General Anesthesia Needed

Most small blights of skin cancer are caught quite early. Since your dermatologist does not have to cut deeply into the body's tissues, you do not need general anesthesia. In fact, he or she can just inject a local anesthetic to numb the area where he/she will cut out the skin cancer. You are awake the whole time, which means you do not need a hospital surgical suite to monitor your vitals under the administration of general anesthesia.