Our office performs many minor surgical procedures used to treat or diagnose skin conditions. Some of the most common medical procedures done in our office include
Biopsies are a diagnostic test that we use to help check for signs of disease. The two main types of biopsies performed in our office are shave biopsies, where a medical grade razor is used to shave off a piece of tissue, and punch biopsies, where a skin punch is used to core out a piece of tissue.
The pieces of tissue are sent to a pathologist who will examine the specimen to determine causality or pathology. From there, your dermatologist can better determine the course of treatment for your condition.
Cryosurgey is used to destroy a growth by freezing the abnormal tissue. With cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion via a cry-ac, cotton swab, or other device to kill the growth. This is commonly performed on actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, and warts.
ED&C is an abbreviation for electrodessication and curettage. This procedure is mostly used on patients who have non-melanoma skin cancers in non-crucial areas where a small scar would be less noticeable. First a small injection of local anesthetic is placed. The surgeon then uses a curette to remove the abnormal cells by scraping down to a layer of uninvolved tissue. Finally, desiccation (electrosurgery) is performed with a small, metal instrument used to widen the margin and cauterize the wound to minimize bleeding. This may need to be repeated multiple times. The wound is left to heal without sutures and typically heals over several weeks.
Our office does excisions on my different types of growths. Thanks to a popular TV dermatologist, many people are now familiar with cyst excisions, but nearly all skin excisions are similar in practice. Most excisions involve the dermatologist cutting into the skin to remove some sort of tissue. Usually the area to be excised is numbed with a local anesthetic. It is then opened with a surgical blade, tissue is removed, and sutures are used to close the area.