Woman with moles on her face

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.

Surgical Procedures

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.
Learn more about Mohs surgery.

Glen M. Bowen, M.D.

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

Keith Duffy, M.D.

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


Cutaneous Lymphoma, Dermatology, Dermatopathology, General Dermatology, Melanoma Surgery, Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology, Mohs Surgery


Huntsman Cancer Institute
Patient Care Center
(801) 581-2955
Midvalley Health Center (801) 581-2955
South Jordan Health Center
(801) 581-2955
University Hospital
Dermatology, Clinic 28
(801) 581-2955

Douglas Grossman, Ph.D., M.D.

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 A. Millican, M.D.

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

University Hospital
Clinic 28

50 N. Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84132
(801) 581-2121

Huntsman Cancer Institute

2000 Circle of Hope Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-0172

Midvalley Health Center

243 East 6100 South
Murray, Utah 84107
(801) 581-2955
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Park
South Jordan, UT 84095
(801) 213-4500