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Other Surgical Treatments

Biopsies, Excisions, and Cryotherapy in Charleston, SC |
Réforme Dermatology

What Other Surgical Procedures Are Offered at Réforme Dermatology?

When it comes to removing moles, cysts, lipomas, or other types of skin growths and checking them for cancerous or benign cells, our expert dermatologist at Réforme Dermatology utilizes the efficacy of biopsies, excisions, and cryotherapy treatments. Surgical dermatology is a specialized subdivision of dermatology that aids in diagnosing and treating skin conditions and growths, including benign or malignant skin cancers, cysts, moles, and other skin growths and irregularities.

What Are Biopsies?

Skin biopsies are a common procedure used to diagnose and conduct treatment of a skin lesion, rash, or other skin irregularity. We perform two types of biopsies at Réforme Dermatology, including shave biopsies, punch biopsies, and excisional biopsies.

Shave biopsies use a small surgical blade to remove a superficial portion of the surface of a lesion.  A punch biopsy uses a tiny, cookie-cutter-shaped tool to retrieve a deeper portion of the skin when it’s necessary for the diagnosis.

How Are Biopsies Performed?

Skin biopsies are performed during an appointment with your dermatologist. After examining the skin lesion or rash, your dermatologist will ask you some questions regarding its history. The dermatologist will determine if a skin biopsy is necessary.

When conducting a biopsy, the area is cleansed using alcohol, and then a local anesthetic is injected to numb the area. The type of biopsy needed is determined by the size, location, and depth of the lesion.

After your biopsy procedure, you’ll be given instructions on how to care for the area at home. To accelerate healing, keep the biopsy site moist by applying ointment to help prevent scabbing and minimize scarring. 

What Are Excisions?

Excisions are reserved for larger or deeper moles or skin lesions like skin cancer. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, your dermatologist will use a scalpel to remove the mole down to the subcutaneous layers. This helps ensure complete removal of the lesion’s roots and minimizes the chance of recurrence. 

Sutures will be placed along the skin tension lines and will be removed after one to two weeks, depending on the size and location of the surgical site. 

Instructions for recovery include keeping the area clean and dry as instructed, followed by the application of a scar gel for the next two to three months after suture removal. We also encourage our patients to refrain from strenuous activities and exercise for the first week to prevent putting tension on the sutures.

What Is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy involves your dermatologist using liquid nitrogen sprayed directly onto the skin growth. Cryotherapy is commonly used to treat pre-cancerous lesions like actinic keratoses and benign lesions, including warts, seborrheic keratoses, and skin tags.

During your cryotherapy session, your dermatologist will spray liquid nitrogen on the treated area to freeze the skin lesion. Most patients feel a slight pinch or burst of intense freeze before the area goes numb from the cooling effect of the cryotherapy.

The treated area will become red soon after the procedure. It may also swell or blister. If skin blisters, do not attempt to pop the blister. Instead, allow it to heal on its own. The treated area will heal in about seven to ten days.

Why Is It Important to See a Dermatologist for a Surgical Skin Treatment?

While many skin lesions are benign, having a dermatologist evaluate any abnormal, fast-growing, or new skin abnormalities for pre-cancerous or malignant cells is always a good idea. When caught in the early stages of development, there is a chance that a smaller area will need to be excised, minimizing your procedure time, recovery, and potential scarring. Additionally, early detection of cancerous cells may limit your treatment to only surgical intervention and allow you to avoid chemotherapy and radiation.

What Happens If Skin Cancer is Detected After a Surgical Treatment?

Your dermatologist will prescribe a skin cancer treatment, depending on the type, stage, location of the cancer and your overall health. It is important to understand that your initial biopsy or excision may not have removed the entire skin cancer, even if you can no longer see the physical blemish. The biopsy process is often a sample of these tumors, but the deeper roots will require further treatment. Biopsies require an immediate follow-up with your dermatologist to proceed with the best treatment for your particular skin cancer.

Your dermatologist may perform Mohs micrographic surgery to effectively treat skin cancer, depending on the type and location. Mohs surgery involves removing visible skin cancer and a narrow margin of healthy skin that will be evaluated under a microscope. After a specialized preparation process, the bottom and edges of the sample are carefully examined under a microscope to determine if additional skin cancer cells remain. If additional skin cancer cells exist, their location is carefully marked on a map of your skin lesion. The surgeon will then continue to remove additional tissue in the tumor cells’ precise location, sparing any surrounding healthy skin. This process is repeated until the patient is cancer-free.

How Can You Prepare for Your Surgical Skin Treatment?

Please remain on your blood-thinning medication if medically necessary. Alcohol, vitamin E, and fish oil supplements should also be avoided, as these products can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. It’s also important to stop using nicotine all nicotine products during this time, as nicotine hinders or slows the healing process and compromises your results.

Dr. Vasile Réforme Dermatology & Aesthetics

Schedule a Consultation

Explore the fully customizable and transformative dermatological treatments with double board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Dr. Gabriella Vasile, who combines her extensive knowledge of skin health with her passion for finding innovative reparative and preventative treatments. Dr. Vasile’s collaborative, personalized approach to skin health and vitality meets the specific needs of her patients by utilizing state-of-the-art technology, science-based skincare products, and peer and patient-reviewed techniques and treatments. 

With a keen aesthetic eye and precision, Dr. Vasile creates balanced and natural results for a variety of aging and skin-related concerns while prioritizing patient comfort and safety. Schedule your consultation today and experience a self-esteem boost with beautiful, healthy, vibrant skin.

Why Choose Dr. Gabriella Vasile for Your Surgical Skin Treatment?

Dr. Gabriella Vasile is a double -board-certified dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon. Aside from preventing future health risks, surgical skin treatments. Our surgical skin treatments are typically simple, in-office procedures that can be completed in 30 minutes or less. Dr. Vasile and her team look forward to working with you to achieve your medical and aesthetic goals. To schedule a consultation, contact Réforme Dermatology by phone at (843) 974-1230 or message us directly through our website.