Surgery is a common treatment for skin cancer and is used in most treated cases, including melanoma. Some types of skin cancer growths can be removed very easily and require only very minor surgery, while others may require a more extensive surgical procedure.
Surgery may include the following procedures:
- Cryosurgery, Using Liquid Nitrogen - Cryosurgery uses an instrument that sprays the liquid onto the skin, freezing and destroying the tissue.
- Curettage & Electrodesiccation - This common type of surgery involves scraping away skin tissue with a curette (a sharp surgical instrument), followed by cauterizing the wound with an electrosurgical unit.
- Excision - A scalpel (sharp surgical instrument) may be used to excise and remove the growth. The wound is usually stitched or held closed with skin clips.
- Mohs Microscopically Controlled Surgery - This type of surgery involves excising a lesion, layer by layer. Each piece of excised tissue is examined under a microscope. Tissue is carefully excised until no tumor cells are seen. The goal of this type of surgery is to remove all of the malignant cells and as little normal tissue as possible. It is often used with recurring tumors.
Glen M. Bowen, MD specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. At the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Dr. Bowen is the clinical director of the Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program and collaborates with physicians in plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncolog... Read More
Dr. Julia Curtis is a Board-certified dermatologist in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah. She works in conjunction with Dr. Doug Grossman in the Mole Mapping Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is also instituting the Mole Mapping Program at the Midvalley Health Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Derm... Read More
Keith Duffy, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator. Dr. Duffy's clinical interests include Mohs surgery (a microscopic technique that allows skin cancers to be removed with very narrow surgical margins), diagnostic dermatopathology (th... Read More
Douglas Grossman, MD, PhD, is an expert in the early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1994, and completed his dermatology training at Yale University School of Medicine in 1998. Following a research fellowship in cancer biology at Yale, he was recruited to the University of... Read More
Eric Millican, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He is fellowship-trained in Mohs Micrographic Surgery - a tissue-sparing technique for treating skin cancers with the highest cure rate. His clinical... Read More
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