If your dermatology issue requires skin surgery, you’ve come to the right place.
Board-certified and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon Dr. Rebecca Lu at Elite SkinMD in Warren, New Jersey, offers her patients the latest treatments for skin cancer and various skin conditions – both medical and cosmetic.
Most often, skin surgery involves the surgical removal of growths such as cysts, lipomas, moles, cancerous and precancerous tissue, skin tags, and warts. Skin surgery may also be performed to improve the appearance of scars if less invasive methods (such as laser & light therapy) alone don’t achieve the desired results.
At Elite SkinMD, many skin surgeries can be performed right here in our office with the use of local anesthetic.
Types of Skin Surgery
One of the most common procedures performed in a dermatology office, a skin biopsy involves the removal of suspicious skin tissue. The tissue is submitted to a lab for microscopic evaluation to confirm a diagnosis of cancer, infection, or other skin problem.
The method used to biopsy your skin will depend on the size, shape, and location of the suspicious tissue, as well as your dermatologist’s original diagnosis. Biopsy methods include:
- Excision Biopsy – a scalpel is used to cut out all of the target tissue, along with a small perimeter of surrounding tissue
- Incision Biopsy – like an excisional biopsy, but it takes only a portion of the target tissue and may go deeper into the skin; used to confirm or rule out a diagnosis
- Punch Biopsy – a small round tool that can extract a tissue sample that runs the entire width of the skin (epidermis, dermis, and superficial fat); ideal for treating deep, pitted acne scars
- Shave Biopsy – a razor-like tool is used to shave off target tissue; useful for upper-layer skin issues
The use of liquid nitrogen to essentially “freeze off” target tissue is extremely popular because it is noninvasive, involving no cutting of the skin. With cryosurgery, or cryotherapy, extreme cold is briefly applied via a cotton swab or spray to an area of skin, which destroys the tissue on contact. The area is first treated with local anesthetic, so the procedure is quick and painless.
A needle is used to drain fluid from a cyst that is bothersome or otherwise requires treatment. If draining doesn’t help, if the cyst refills after being drained, or if the cyst is particularly difficult to reach (under the skin), it may be surgically excised. Your dermatologist can advise you as to whether your cyst requires treatment.
Mohs surgery is considered the most effective way to treat the most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Mohs is a surgical technique best described as “precision excision.” It involves the gradual removal of very thin layers of skin, with tissue assessment in a lab after each removal, until no cancer cells remain. The meticulous process ensures that only areas with cancer are removed, leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed.
For more information, see our web page on Skin Cancer & Mohs Surgery.
Taking skin from one area of the body and transplanting it to another is called skin grafting. This may be required as a part of wound closure after skin surgery. For example, punch biopsies or skin cancer removal may sometimes require stitches or a skin graft.
Subcision is commonly used to treat acne scars that appear as depressions in the skin. A special needle is used to break up the fibrous scar tissue, alleviating the hold the scar has on surrounding skin and allowing the skin to rise up, so the skin depression is no longer visible.
Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon in Warren, New Jersey
Trust your skin health and appearance to dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Dr. Rebecca Lu of Elite SkinMD. She is a well-respected expert in her field, and she is currently accepting new patients at her office in Warren, New Jersey. Call Elite SkinMD at (908) 787-8088 for your consultation – or request an appointment now.