Conveniently located to serve Estero, Fort Myers, and Naples
At Houck Dermatology, our experts regularly perform skin cancer surgery for our patients. Skin cancer is being diagnosed at an alarming rate. Fairer skin types are certainly at a higher risk of being diagnosed, but every skin type is at risk, especially in the Sunshine State.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (the most common skin cancer), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) are the most common types of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. SCC and MM can be life-threatening with the potential to spread (metastasize).
Your Skin Exam
Skin exams and patient education are especially important for early diagnosis of skin cancers. We offer full skin exams to identify suspicious lesions.
The ABCs of moles and melanoma, recommendation of sunscreens and sun avoidance, and being educated on self-skin exams are all part of our routine skin cancer exams. It is always recommended to ask for a gown for your full skin exam, to ask questions about the ABCs and sunscreens, and to have all areas that concern you examined.
What Happens During Skin Cancer Surgery?
Frozen section margin control surgery is a thorough multi-step procedure. Dr. Houck removes the skin cancer, and then, using our in-office laboratory, a senior dermatopathologist checks the edges of the specimen under the microscope to ensure the cancer has been totally removed.
Our dermatopathologist uses the Mohs frozen section technique, which provides a very high cure rate. Once the cancer has been removed and the margins are clear, Dr. Houck repairs the wound. The details of the recovery and healing process vary and will be discussed in advance. For best results, follow Dr. Houck’s care directions closely.
Dr. Houck has many years of experience performing this technique and repairing various types of wounds. We also have relationships with plastic surgeons if needed to get you the most appropriate care you need.
Skin exams should be done at least annually for most people in Florida. If you have a history of skin cancer or extensive sun exposure, then exams may be recommended every 3-6 months.
How Long Does Skin Cancer Surgery Take?
The duration of skin cancer surgery will depend on the extent of the skin cancer. The more tissues the skin cancer is able to invade and infiltrate, the longer the procedure will be. Most patients undergo skin cancer surgery for 2 to 4 hours.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Skin Cancer Surgery?
After skin cancer surgery, the skin should heal in 1 to 3 weeks. This is the case for most skin cancer patients with minimal to moderate removed skin. For larger areas of removed skin, skin grafts may be performed, which take longer to heal. The healing time for skin grafts usually takes 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the size of the graft.
Is Skin Cancer Surgery Painful?
Skin cancer surgery is pain-free, since local anesthesia will be administered at the beginning of the procedure. Once the area is numb, you should feel fine throughout the surgery. You will be conscious for the rest of the procedure under local anesthesia.
Are There Side Effects from Skin Cancer Surgery?
Expect swelling or bruising after a skin cancer procedure. Pain medication will be prescribed after the procedure to prevent any discomfort for the first 1 to 2 days after the surgery.
Dr. Houck performs the procedure with great care and consideration for the patient. Please follow his specialized aftercare instructions to prevent complications.
How Successful Is Skin Cancer Surgery?
This form of skin cancer surgery has stood the test of time, becoming the most precise and advanced treatment for skin cancer. The success rate is up to 99%.
After the procedure, Dr. Houck may need you to attend follow-up appointments to ensure that the skin cancer has completely been treated and has not developed in different locations.
The Cost of Skin Cancer Surgery
The price of skin cancer surgery is determined by a number of factors. The patient’s insurance provider plays a major role, as do the diagnostic techniques involved and the exact details of the case.
Arrange Your Skin Exam
To arrange a skin exam or find out more about skin cancer surgery, please contact our office to set up your appointment.