Surgical dermatology refers to any surgery you need for the tissue or area surrounding your skin, hair, and nails. Surgical procedures are sometimes reconstructive, and at other times medically necessary -- such as to remove skin cancer-- or cosmetic. With any dermatologic surgical procedure, the intention is to improve the function, health, and appearance of your skin tissue.
Dr. Safko performs Mohs surgery to treat skin cancer. It’s an extremely delicate procedure, sometimes referred to as Mohs micrographic surgery. The goal is for Dr. Safko to carefully remove all traces of skin cancer without harming the surrounding healthy skin and underlying tissue. It is performed to treat basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. In some cases of melanoma and less common forms of skin cancer, Mohs surgery may also be appropriate.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesic.
Skin cancer can be treated with a local excision in which the cancerous tissue and some surrounding healthy tissue are removed. The greater precision provided by Mohs surgery means less scarring and disruption of your skin layers.
Dr. Safko will recommend Mohs surgery if you have skin cancer located in a sensitive area where you want to minimize invasiveness, particularly your eyes, hairline, hands, ears, or genitals. It’s also particularly valuable in cases in which the cancerous site has borders that are irregular or cancerous regions that are especially large. If you have a high risk of the cancer recurring, or if you’re treating cancer that has recurred, Mohs surgery is appropriate, too.
Moles are generally harmless, but you may choose to have one removed for cosmetic reasons. In some cases, moles can change in color or shape -- or appear seemingly out of nowhere. It’s important to have these checked as they can be a sign of melanoma, a particularly deadly form of skin cancer. If a mole irritates you when it rubs against your clothing or jewelry, or if it starts to itch or bleed, consult with Dr. Safko to go over your options for its removal.